Pressure injuries are a major cause of preventable harm for patients using health care services including hospital, residential care and home care. Injuries usually develop over 'bony' parts of the body due to sustained pressure, or pressure combined with shear and/or friction.
Pressure injuries cause physical symptoms, feelings of anger and blame, and reduce quality of life through pain, infection, delayed healing, altered body image, depression, and increased mortality and morbidity. The human toll on urihaumate (patients), carers and their families-whānau should not be underestimated.
Injuries also carry connotations of neglect and mismanagement on the part of health professionals. Evidence shows most pressure injuries are preventable – early identification of people at risk and subsequent effective management needs to be a high priority for all care providers to reduce harm.
There are key actions that are recognised and promoted to reduce the risk and impact of pressure injuries. For example, the SSKIN care bundle provides a useful approach to ensure that no prevention element is missed. The SSKIN care bundle includes the following:
• Surface – provide a supportive and pressure relieving surface
• Skin Inspection – undertake regular skin checks for discolouration and pain on bony prominences and under or around medical devices
• Keep moving – change position often
• Incontinence– keep skin dry and clean
• Nutrition – eat healthily and drink plenty of fluids
Pressure injuries impact the New Zealand health system by increasing patients' length of stay, ACC treatment injury claims and care cost. (Health Quality & Safety Commission New Zealand 2020 (modified).
- An e-learning training course on - pressure injury prevention and management is available on the Te Whāriki ā Toi learning site. This e-learning course has nine lessons. This course is suitable for healthcare assistants and registered healthcare workers. Login using your existing Te Whāriki ā Toi login and password or create an account. If you have any difficulties with accessing the Te Whāriki ā Toi site, please contact email@example.com.
- Pressure Injury Classification System
- Supporting safer treatment (ACC)
- Guiding principles for pressure injury prevention and management in New Zealand (MAY 2017) (ACC)
- Taupā i te whara pēhanga Pressure injury prevention (HQ&SC)
- Patient stories (HQ&SC)
- 2019 Guideline QRG E-Version (PPPIA) (E-version Download)
- New Zealand Wound Care Society
- Pressure Injuries (ACC)
- Pan-Pacific Pressure Injury Alliance
- New NPIAP Positioning Tips
Watch below a fun interactive short tutorial using apples to demonstrate accurate staging of pressure injuries. The video is presented by Dawn French (Tissue Viability Specialist Nurse) and makes staging pressure injuries "as simple as Apple P.I.E."