Nov. 16, 2015 – Lenexa, Kan., – Sizewise Worldwide, a global medical equipment manufacturer, is joining organizations around the world in observing Worldwide Pressure Ulcer Prevention Day on Nov. 19, 2015. Pressure ulcers, commonly called “bed sores” by the general public, are a mounting problem in aging, sedentary and obese societies around the globe.
More than 2.5 million patients each year experience a pressure ulcer, according to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP,) and each one of those can cost a hospital upwards of $70,000 according to NPUAP studies. Medicare estimated nine years ago that each pressure ulcer added an incremental $43,180 in costs to a hospital stay.
Collectively, pressure ulcers cost U.S. healthcare systems more than $11 billion annually according to the same study. In addition, the Affordable Care Act has restrictions on how much a facility can bill for pressure ulcers that develop during a patient’s stay at a facility – something termed a hospital-acquired pressure ulcer. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) consider this a medical error and therefore do not have to reimburse the hospital for this cost.
“Wound care clinicians and the pressure ulcer prevention community overall have benefited from Sizewise clinical protocols and products designed to address the needs of wound healing,” said Erica Thibault, MS, CNS, APN, CWON, RN and clinical manager at Sizewise. “Aiding healthcare facilities and caregivers improve the efficacy and quality of patient care is at the core of our business.”
While no facility plans to have a patient develop a pressure ulcer, it’s important for all caregivers to have a prevention plan in place. Each care plan should include a risk assessment tool, such as the “Braden Scale for Predicting Pressure Sore Risk.” The most vulnerable patient populations are the elderly, people experiencing long facility stays after surgery, and bariatric patients. Caregivers should conduct skin checks twice a day and help ensure skin is staying hydrated, clean and dry. If patients have an existing pressure ulcer or are established as a high-risk candidate for pressure ulcers, a nutrition screen should be ordered.
One of the most critical tools in pressure ulcer prevention is the use of therapeutic surfaces. Properly assessing the individual patient’s situation will determine the support surface needed to treat or prevent a pressure ulcer. Sizewise recently introduced a therapeutic support surface (the Sizewise Immerse) to help treat pressure ulcers and aid in the healing of skin grafts and reconstructive flaps – a surgical intervention to treat pressure ulcers.
Thibault added that advanced low air loss technology is a substitution for the outdated and expensive air-fluidized therapies. “Therapeutic low air loss surfaces provides pressure redistribution, as well as microclimate management, and can be used for the prevention and treatment of all stages of pressure ulcers,” she said.
This clinical case study demonstrates an alternative to antiquated “air fluidized” therapies and demonstrates how low air loss is able to immerse and envelop a patient in order to accelerate healing and ultimately provide positive clinical outcomes.
World Wide Pressure Ulcer Prevention Day was first observed in 2013 and is growing in recognition from many global governing bodies and organizations. This annual celebration is sponsored by the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (www.npuap.org).
For more information on pressure ulcer prevention and treatment, read the latest installment of Xtrawise, Volume 17.2. Learn more about Sizewise and its product offerings by visiting sizewise.com/products.