Bedsores treatment, comment

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When it comes to bedsores, prevention is clearly worth more than any cure. Wheelchair-bound or bedridden people should shift their positions regularly. They should be bathed frequently and dried thoroughly, and their skin should be lubricated with a mild, non-irritating lotion. They should have clean, dry, tight-fitting, unstarched cotton sheets; loose-fitting clothes; plenty of air circulation; a healthy diet; and some sort of regular exercise – even if a caregiver has to move their limbs. To cushion sensitive areas, try an "eggcrate" foam mattress overlay, a water-filled mattress, or a sheepskin pad over the bedsheets. Consider a variable-pressure mattress with separate sections that can be inflated and deflated independently to adjust pressure on the patient’s body. A change in a patient’s condition demands immediate attention, some examples include, but are not limited to: (1) A person is going to remain bedridden or immobile for an extended period, cannot move or is very weak, and is beginning to develop bedsores. The person may need regular attendance by a nurse or other trained health-care provider. (2) The sore produces a discharge, which may contain pus or become foul smelling; or if the sore turns black. This indicates an infection or tissue death (Gangrene); get immediate medical attention.

Original Post
September 7, 2009
Title: Documentation of Bedsores, comment

Having worked in the NICU for many years, we see several issues with skin breakdown. For the micro-preemies who are lacking the epidermis (or extremely thin epidermis)- it is especially hard to not have skin breakdown, anything that potentially touches their skin will cause breakdown. All of these babies are considered critically ill therefore require several EKG leads, pulse oximetry probes and other transcutaneous monitors. These monitors should be repositioned every couple of hours to minimize the damage and burns. Documenting and notifying the physician of skin breakdown is EXTREMELY important with these patients as they are at such high risk for infections.

Original Post
August 20, 2009
Title: Documentation of Bedsores, comment

This is very true about the documentation of bed sores being incorrect. In the ICU where I work at, we actually document initially if there are any sores as soon as the patient arrives. It is located in the admission assessment. After that it is up to the nurses top document if there have been any changes in the skin integrity of the patient. Multiple time we see a skin assessment documented with a stage one/two pressure ulcer when reality is that it is incontinence associated dermatitis. Most time the IAD can resolved by either timely cleansing of the person, the insertion of a rectal tube and foley catheter (if not previously present) and some type of barrier ointment. In a way prevention is the best medicine for IAD and Pressure Ulcers, in companied with good core and forensic assessment skills. If the pt is having large loose stools, create a prevention to keep the skin intact.

Original Post
August 3, 2009
Title: Documentation of Bedsores, comment

The hospital where I currently work also includes documentation of existing pressure ulcers on admission of a patient. However, the protocol asks you to assess the patient’s skin then to document on paper what the ulcer looks like, stage, size, drainage, etc. The paper charting does not require a picture of the pressure ulcer that was found by assessment of the RN. I think this leaves a wide margin for error. It is probable that some ulcers will not be documented correctly. I believe that a photo would be advantageous to the medical record along with perhaps a computerized charting system where you can label with an X any area of the body that has breakdown and then attach a photograph to the document. Also the documentation I work with does not allow for updates on how the pressure ulcer heals or worsens. This also leaves room for criticism and error. I think my place of work would benefit from photo/computerized documentation of pressure ulcers.

Original Post:
July 31, 2009
Title: Documentation of Bedsores, comment

I found this post and other comments relative to my new nursing job. As an experienced ER nurse, we found little time to assess or document pressure ulcers. With the new CMS guidelines that came out this past October, Medicare will not longer be reimbursing for facility acquired pressure ulcers. My new nursing role focuses on prevention and education. I was very surprised how little I knew about pressure ulcers from working in the ED. Yet it is so vital that our assessment starts there. The photo proof documentation mentioned in this Post sounds like an excellent idea. One of the hospitals I work with, just installed a whole new soft ware program for nursing documentation. It is really easy to chart your skin assessments and pressure ulcers. With drop down choices, body diagrams. But the wound care nurse still has to validate the floor nurses documentation with her own patient assessment every month. I helped her with this, and it was very time consuming. It was double the work in my eyes. Yet we did find, many pressure ulcers that were resolved and many that were staged incorrectly, as well as several that were missed by the RN. Even though we have many different technologies to help us with our documentation and assessment, it still comes down to basic education.

Original Post:
June 17, 2009
Title: Documentation of Bedsores
Joint Commission and CMS (Medicare) has set a Patient Safety Goal of not allowing bedsores to occur during hospitalizations. My institution uses technology to document existing wounds at the time of admission assessment. We are a totally computerized charting hospital. When we identify an existing wound, we bring up a screen of the body and insert a photo of the wound into the patient’s medical record. This feature allows us to prevent lawsuits and receive the correct reimbursement of that patient’s hospitalization. Health assessment no longer has to rely on a verbal or hand written dictation to describe history and physical assessments!

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