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Recognition and Treatment of Medical-Device Related Pressure Ulcers

Among the various significant health care issues, pressure ulcers are the topic that deserves specific attention. Overall medical treatment improvements and increasing life expectancy figures often result in longer times spent by patients under special care. Pressure ulcers constitute a “localized injury to the skin and underlying tissue usually over a bony prominence, as a result of pressure, or pressure in combination with shear” (Engels et al., 2016, p. 271). They cause significant pains for the patients, substantially increase their mortality, and scale up the treatment costs for them, their relatives, and healthcare facilities. Therefore, finding the appropriate ways to recognize the risks for pressure ulcer development and minimize them is a critical issue for the entire industry.

Within the general topic of pressure ulcers, it is worth focusing on hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, which are, in many cases, related to the particularities of the treatment. As the current statistical data indicate, over 2.5 million patients annually develop pressure injuries in American health care facilities (Engels et al., 2016). Moreover, the treatment cost of such issues is rapidly rising, already exceeding $26 billion per year (Gefen et al., 2020). These figures and the unfavorable trends indicate the relevance of identifying the probabilities of pressure ulcer developments in patients and preventing them at an early stage.

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The critical factors which generally contribute to the appearance of pressure ulcers are divided into the ones related to the patient and the ones created by the treatment environment. The first group includes being over seventy-five, having impaired nutrition, and limited mobility (Jackson et al., 2019). These aspects are not under the control of a healthcare facility, and merely need to be accounted for during risk identification and selection of proper mitigation techniques. Unlike them, the other set of contributing factors is directly related to the equipment used by hospitals. Pressure ulcers are known to occur twice more often among patients using specialized devices, significantly affecting the quality of patients’ lives. Their prevalence rate is considered among the critical indicators for the evaluation of safety and nursing quality in any healthcare facility (Jackson et al., 2019). Therefore, the primary purpose of this paper is to detect the leading causes of medical-device related pressure ulcers and the ways in which the tools themselves and their application procedure can be improved.

The declared goal would constitute a significant step in enhancing overall patient treatment, especially in emergency care facilities. To reach it, the paper will contain an analysis of the existing data on medical-device related pressure ulcers with the determination of their primary causes. The comprehensive review will first include risk assessment methodologies with the final aim of developing certain checklists for evaluating the probability of injury occurrence for a specific patient and the facility in general. Besides, it will dwell into the details of safe procedures required for the use of the necessary life support equipment based on the identified risk level. Finally, due consideration will be paid to the review of medical devices themselves. This will include an evaluation of their functionality and the desired changes in their manufacturing and licensing aspects. The application of this comprehensive approach will ensure the possibility of reaching the aim of identifying the appropriate ways of pressure ulcer mitigation and treatment and increasing the overall success level of the applied measures. The solution to this problem will constitute a substantial achievement for the patients, their relatives, and the healthcare industry in general.

References

Engels, D., Austin, M., McNichol, L., Fencl, J., Gupta, S., & Kazi, H. (2016). Pressure ulcers: Factors contributing to their development in the OR. AORN Journal103(3), 271–281. Web.

Gefen, A., Alves, P., Ciprandi, G., Coyer, F., Milne, C. T., Ousey, K., Ohura, N., Waters, N., Worsley, P. (2020). Device-related pressure ulcers: SECURE prevention. Journal of Wound Care, 29(Sup2a), 1–51. Web.

Jackson, D., Sarki, A. M., Betteridge, R., & Brooke, J. (2019). Medical device-related pressure ulcers: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 92, 109–120. Web.