Pressure injuries, also known as bed sores, pressure sores or pressure ulcers, are injuries to a patient’s skin or underlying tissue caused by unrelieved pressure. Pressure injuries can easily occur when a patient is unable to move, whether because of prolonged surgery, illness, or injury.
Though they’re a common issue for older people, any patient can develop pressure sores very quickly if they remain in the same position for too long. And the skin damage caused by pressure injuries is difficult to treat, heals slowly, and can lead to serious complications. It’s easy to see why pressure injury management has become a critical requirement of modern hospital protocols.
It’s easy to see why preventing and managing pressure injuries has become one of the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) standards (Standard 8).
Elite Medical’s range of pressure protection solutions such as the ACTION system are designed to significantly reduce a patient’s risk of tissue trauma from pressure injuries. They work to redistribute pressure to prevent capillary closure, mitigate shear forces, and avert the build-up of heat and humidity, to a higher level than most competing products.
Pressure injuries are the fifth most common preventable health care condition. Because of their lengthy healing time, impact on patient mobility and quality of life, and increased risk of infection, pressure injuries are a very serious medical condition.
Pressure sores are defined as localised areas of tissue breakdown (necrosis) which have been caused by capillary closure. Excessive, prolonged pressure, such as when a patient has been stationary on the operating table for some time, can cause the capillaries to close. Friction and shearing forces during patient repositioning or transfer can also twist and stretch the skin, damaging the capillaries and inhibiting their ability to function properly.
The good news is that many pressure injuries are highly preventable. With ongoing education of Operating Room staff and specialised pressure injury prevention techniques from Elite Medical, prevention of pressure sores is possible.
Methods for prevention of pressure injuries and avoiding skin damage include relieving the pressure, reducing the amount of time that pressure is applied, and improving the patient’s skin quality.
To do this, it’s important to adopt pressure protection strategies such as making regular position changes of the patient, ensuring good hygiene and skin care, and adhering to a healthy diet.
And of course, a very important strategy is the physical prevention of pressure sores, by using products such as the ACTION brand Patient Positioning System from Elite Medical.
The ACTION system works by preventing pressure injuries in three ways. It prevents capillary closure; dissipates heat away from a patient’s body; and allows for free and even blood flow, all of which reduce the risk of pressure injury.
The incredible Akton® polymer used by the ACTION pressure protection system has the same shear characteristics as human skin. It evenly distributes heat, which prevents heat build up next to the skin, and is also very soft, shock absorbing, and transparent to x-rays.
ACTION pressure protection pads are also easy to use and maintain. They’re easily cleaned with disinfectant, won’t leak or absorb fluids, don’t support bacteria, and are easily repaired if accidentally punctured.
Find out more about the latest pressure injury prevention techniques. Browse our range of ACTION pressure protection pads and positioners for your Operating Room here.