Title: The Prevalence of Pressure Ulcers among Elderly and At-Risk Patients in Acute Hospitals and Skilled Nursing Facilities: An Evidence-Based Practice Approach
Pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores or decubitus ulcers, are a significant healthcare concern among elderly and at-risk patients in acute hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. These ulcers result from prolonged pressure and shear forces on the skin and underlying tissues, leading to tissue damage, pain, and potentially life-threatening complications. The purpose of this research is to investigate the prevalence of pressure ulcers in these healthcare settings and propose an evidence-based practice intervention to reduce their occurrence.
Overview of the Problem:
Pressure ulcers commonly occur among elderly patients and individuals with limited mobility. Certain factors, such as immobility, malnutrition, incontinence, and friction, increase the risk of developing pressure ulcers. Moreover, the consequences of pressure ulcers can be severe, including infection, delayed wound healing, chronic pain, and reduced quality of life.
The prevalence of pressure ulcers in acute hospitals and skilled nursing facilities is a matter of great concern. According to a worldwide systematic review by Gorecki et al. (2012), the prevalence of pressure ulcers among elderly patients in these settings ranges from 5% to 32%. This high prevalence indicates the need for effective interventions to prevent and manage pressure ulcers in this population.
Implementing evidence-based practice is crucial in addressing the prevalence of pressure ulcers. Evidence-based practice involves integrating the best available evidence, along with clinical expertise and patient preferences, to guide healthcare decision-making. In this research, we will focus on integrating the use of the Braden Scale, repositioning strategies, and the use of Optifoam dressing on bony areas of elderly and at-risk patients.
The Braden Scale is a validated tool for assessing a patient’s risk of developing pressure ulcers. By incorporating this tool into routine assessments, healthcare providers can identify patients at a higher risk of developing pressure ulcers and implement preventive interventions accordingly. Repositioning, which involves changing a patient’s position at regular intervals, is an effective strategy to relieve pressure on vulnerable areas and improve tissue perfusion. Using Optifoam dressing on bony areas provides extra cushioning and protection, reducing the risk of pressure ulcer formation.
Using evidence-based interventions, such as the Braden Scale, repositioning, and Optifoam dressing, can significantly reduce the prevalence of pressure ulcers in acute hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. By investigating the current prevalence and implementing these evidence-based practices, this research aims to contribute to the improvement of patient outcomes, quality of care, and overall healthcare system effectiveness.
Gorecki, C., Brown, J. M., Nelson, E. A., Briggs, M., Schoonhoven, L., & Dealey, C. (2012). Impact of pressure ulcers on quality of life in older patients: a systematic review. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 60(12), 2387-2393.
Note: This is the introductory section of the assignment, providing an overview of the topic, problem statement, and the proposed evidence-based practice approach. The remaining sections of the assignment, including an in-depth exploration of the problem, a comprehensive literature review, and a detailed description of the proposed intervention, would follow this introduction.