The group of interest is the elderly patients who have pressure ulcers in healthcare settings. Elderly patients are especially at risk of developing pressure area sores because some have difficulties moving. Staying in one position for long increases the chances of developing pressure area sores among this group. They also develop sores as their skin becomes weak, dry, and thin with aging, increasing their possibility of developing pressure area sores. Pressure area sores are painful and affect the quality of the patient’s stay in hospitals. They also pose a risk for acquiring nosocomial infections, further worsening the patient’s condition. Pathogens may set in through the impaired skin; thus, the patient develops infections (Jaul et al., 2018). The condition leads to complications that can have been linked to causing patient deaths. They reduce the life expectancy of patients significantly. The prevalence is high and costly among this population, especially when they have other chronic illnesses.
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Several interventions can be made to preclude an individual from developing pressure ulcers and enhance healing process. The use of special mattresses and cushioning the pressure areas helps prevent the development of sores by reducing the pressure exerted on the skin. The patient’s position is changed regularly to relieve the contact skin pressure more frequently, thus preventing sores development (Jaul et al., 2018). The patient’s position should be changed every 2 hours. The mobile patients are encouraged to remain active by doing simple exercises and changing their positions regularly.
The pressure areas are also massaged, and oil applied to enhance blood circulation in the area, hence maintaining skin integrity. Proper nutrition, especially with higher protein and vitamins, fosters the wound healing process. The pressure ulcers are cleaned with saline water and dressed with a bandage to keep the wound moist. The bandage applied also acts as a barrier to infections by keeping the wound covered. The damaged tissue is removed to facilitate the healing process and minimize infection risk (Wound, 2017). Analgesics such as ibuprofen naproxen sodium are given to manage pain. Prophylactic antibiotics are sometimes given, especially when the wound is big, posing a high risk for infections.
By implementing these interventions, the patients’ pressure sores are likely to heal faster. Interventions such as position changing, cushioning, mobilizing, and pressure area care help prevent the development of pressure areas (Jaul et al., 2018). The interventions will minimize the risk of infections that are likely to occur when the skin is impaired or when wound care is not done. They also prevent the associated mortalities and complications. The interventions will also improve the quality of the patient’s hospital stay by relieving pain and preventing further damage to their skin.
To implement these interventions, teamwork is necessary. The medical team members, especially the nurses who are responsible for implementing most of these procedures, should work on this plan. The patients are also expected to participate by receiving health education to ensure they adopt the preventive measures and learn how to take care of pressure areas. The medical team members should be engaged in discussing these interventions and setting policies to ensure the elderly patients receive pressure area care in the hospitals. After the discussion, the resources, such as ibuprofen, cushions, oil, bandages, sterile saline water, and gauzes to clean the wound, will be assembled (Mervis & Phillips, 2019). The time taken for pressure ulcers to heal depends on factors such as the size of the wound, the nutrition being provided, and the wound care given to the patient. The healing process takes a few weeks with appropriate wound care. Sometimes the ulcers turn into chronic deep wounds that take very long to heal.
Having gathered the resources, they will be taken to the elderly patients’ ward and organized in a way that it is easy to retrieve them during use. The selected medical team members will be then engaged in a discussion to let them know how the management plans to implement the interventions, allocating each of them a responsibility to perform. A day for the implementation of the interventions, which is suitable for the team, will be scheduled. Some members will take part in cushioning the patients’ pressure areas, some in cleaning the wounds and dressing them, some will take part in turning the patients, while some will offer the pressure area massage.
The patients will be first taught how to prevent pressure area sores and care for pressure areas, specifically for the mobile patients. They will also be taught the need to take a protein-rich diet to enhance the wound healing process and vegetables to boost their immunity and prevent infections. Some medical team members will perform pressure area massage using the massage oil while some will change the immobile patients’ positions. Others will clean the wounds with sterile saline water and gauzes and dress the wounds, while some will take part in cushioning the pressure area sores. Ibuprofen will also be given to patients who report pain related to the pressure ulcers.
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Jaul, E., Barron, J., Rosenzweig, J. P., & Menczel, J. (2018). An overview of co-morbidities and the development of pressure ulcers among older adults. BMC geriatrics, 18(1), 1–11.
Mervis, J. S., & Phillips, T. J. (2019). Pressure ulcers: Prevention and management. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 81(4), 893–902.
Wound, O. (2017). WOCN 2016 guideline for prevention and management of pressure injuries (ulcers). Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing, 44(3), 241–246.