First of all, it is essential to mention that contemporary medicine has made considerable progress in nearly every sphere of caregiving, treatment, and medication. However, some problems are persistent and not easily abolished as they happen due to natural reasons. One of the most widespread problems of this kind is pressure ulcers (also known as pressure sores or bedsores). This condition is well-known for centuries, but it continues to be very troublesome and prevalent in particular groups of patients. This paper aims to discuss basic aspects related to the problem.
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It is of high importance to develop an understanding of the condition’s definition in the scholarly literature. The article by Swisher et al. (2015) suggests that pressure ulcers are caused by the application of continuous pressure to a particular body location, which results in the decreased blood flow, and then “subsequent reperfusion to the tissue causes cell death” (p. 1). Qaseem, Mir, Starkey, and Denberg (2015) define the subject matter as follows: pressure ulcers are “localized injury to the skin and/or underlying tissue, usually over a bony prominence, as a result of pressure alone or in combination with shear” (p. 359). Santamaria et al. (2015) mention that “the mechanisms of pressure injury involve the mechanical effects of pressure, shear, friction, and moisture at the skin/surface interface” (p. 304). Further, more particular aspects will be discussed.
Since pressure ulcers affect 3 million people in the United States in various healthcare settings, it is possible to state that it is a considerably widespread condition (Santamaria et al., 2015). It has a vast impact on the health status, quality of life, and health care cost of a particular individual. As it is with the majority of diseases, pressure ulcers are discussed in the academic literature in the context of the disease’s prevention and treatment. A significant number of articles and studies on the topic are preoccupied with the discussion of prevention, which is understandable enough. It is well-known that pressure ulcers could develop in elderly people and people who recover from operations. Thus, it is a lot easier to prevent the condition than to attempt to treat the consequences of it, which could be immensely severe. However, the question of treatment and healing of pressure ulcers is also paid considerable attention in academic literature, for example, in the article by Qaseem, Humphrey, Forciea, Starkey, and Denberg (2015).
As it is evident from the discussion, the importance of the problem is immense. As it is stated by Santamaria et al. (2015), “the prevention of hospital acquired pressure ulcers in critically ill intensive care unit (ICU) patients remains a significant and persistent clinical challenge” (p. 302). However, Swisher et al. (2015) argue that “the combination of pressure and time that results in tissue damage varies widely between patients, and the underlying damage is often severe by the time a surface wound becomes visible” (p. 1). Therefore, it is decided to focus on the aspect of prevention of the disease under discussion. Accordingly, the initial topic could be narrowed down as follows: it is essential to observe how the condition of pressure ulcers could be prevented in contemporary hospital settings.
Qaseem, A., Mir, T. P., Starkey, M., & Denberg, T. D. (2015). Risk assessment and prevention of pressure ulcers: A clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians. Annals of Internal Medicine, 162(5), 359-369.
Qaseem, A., Humphrey, L. L., Forciea, M. A., Starkey, M., & Denberg, T. D. (2015). Treatment of pressure ulcers: A clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians. Annals of Internal Medicine, 162(5), 370-379.
Santamaria, N., Gerdtz, M., Sage, S., McCann, J., Freeman, A., Vassiliou, T.,… Knott, J. (2015). A randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of soft silicone multi-layered foam dressings in the prevention of sacral and heel pressure ulcers in trauma and critically ill patients: The border trial. International wound journal, 12(3), 302-308.
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Swisher, S. L., Lin, M. C., Liao, A., Leeflang, E. J., Khan, Y., Pavinatto, F. J.,… Harrison, M. R. (2015). Impedance sensing device enables early detection of pressure ulcers in vivo. Nature Communications, 6, 1-10.