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Princess Alexandra reduces level of pressure ulcers due to innovative technique

News / Tue 18th Nov 2014 pm30 04:30pm

THE Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust (PAHT) has dramatically reduced the number of patients who develop avoidable pressure ulcers (historically known as bed sores) thanks to an innovative, preventative, care regime.

It’s estimated that annually around half a million people in the UK will develop at least one avoidable pressure ulcer.

Princess Alexandra staff have significantly reduced the number of hospital acquired avoidable bed sores by almost 70% over the last two years

The innovative care regime involves:

Starting preventative measures as soon as the patient is admitted to hospital,
training specialist staff members to provide expert support to wards
providing education to staff and clinicians across all departments
analysing the cause of any cases to prevent future recurrence

Supported by Tissue Viability Nurses*, 83 specialist staff known as ‘Agents for Nutrition and Tissue Viability’ (ANTs) – have been specially trained to help manage and prevent pressure ulcers throughout the hospital.

The ANTs identify skin issues patients may have and ensure that those at risk are getting all the right food that they need for their skin to remain healthy and thus avoid the danger of pressure sores developing.

The aim at PAHT is to have at least one ANT on every ward, every day, to help avoid pressure ulcers developing as well as ongoing training and awareness sessions.

Professor Nancy Fontaine, Chief Nurse said “Because of the hard work from our Tissue Viability Nurses and ANTs, we have seen a huge reduction in the number of avoidable pressure ulcers at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust.

“This has not only improved patient safety and experience, but has saved the Trust money which can be reinvested in patient care.

“Pressure ulcer reduction is a measure of quality and is one of the many ways we are delivering this at the PAHT.”

In order to extend the awareness of pressure ulcers beyond healthcare professionals, PAHT staff will join healthcare colleagues across the world to observe World Wide Pressure Ulcer Prevention Day on Thursday 20 November.

During ‘Stop The Pressure Day’, staff will raise awareness of pressure ulcers among patients and members of the public, educating them on the difference between avoidable and unavoidable pressure ulcers and the necessary steps to prevent them.

There are a number of steps carers and patients are advised to follow when trying to prevent pressure ulcers. These include;
Check skin regularly
Eat a healthy, balanced diet
Try to move, or assist someone to move, every 2-4 hours

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