Healthcare professionals from across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) are coming together to mark International Stop the Pressure Day on 21 November.
International Stop the Pressure Day aims to raise awareness around the risks of pressure injuries and improve both practice within hospitals, and self-care for people at home.
Julie Thallon, Director of Quality for Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire CCG, said:
“With over 1,300 new serious pressure injuries reported each month across England, pressure injuries remain a concerning and mainly preventable harm associated with healthcare.
“Our Stop the Pressure event will bring together a range of different healthcare professionals from partners across the area to increase knowledge in a bid to prevent pressure injuries from developing and affecting many people each year.”
This event will bring together representatives from all providers of health care across BNSSG including Bristol Community Health, Sirona Care and Health, North Somerset Community Partnership, North Bristol NHS Trust, University Hospitals Bristol, Weston General Hospital and BNSSG Care Homes.
What are pressure injuries?
Pressure injuries, often referred to as ulcers, pressure sores or bedsores, are injuries to the skin and underlying tissue, primarily caused by prolonged pressure on the skin. They can impact anyone, but usually affect people over 70 or people who are confined to beds or sit in chairs for long periods of time.
Pressure injuries can happen on any part of the body that is put under pressure, they’re most common on bony parts of the body, such as elbows, heels, hips and base of the spine. They usually happen over time, but can form in a few hours.
How can you prevent pressure injuries?
It can be difficult to completely prevent pressure injuries, but there are some things you or your care team can do to reduce the risk by using the aSSKINg framework:
A risk assessment - If you are at risk, a care plan appropriate to your needs should be made.
Skin Inspection - Check your skin as often as you can. If you can't check it yourself, tell someone if you feel sore or uncomfortable particularly if this is on your heels or bottom. If you are unable to feel if you are getting sore, try to move more often. If you have any contracted limbs it's important that they are checked. Do not rub skin as this can remove the top layer causing damage.
Surface – If you are assessed as being at risk of developing pressure ulcers you will be offered special equipment, which can help to prevent a pressure ulcer occurring.
Keep moving – This is very important. Stand or walk as much as possible, or if in bed try to roll onto alternate sides as often as you can or as discussed with your health professional. Keep moving as much as you can. If you can walk around, ensure that your footwear fits correctly to prevent skin damage.
Incontinence – it is important to deal with any continence concerns as these can damage your skin and make you more at risk of pressure ulcers. If you develop sore or chapped skin, let your health professional or carer know. Use a barrier cream to protect skin and wash with a mild non-perfumed cleanser.
Nutrition - plays an important role in preventing pressure ulcers
Give information – it is important that you understand the information given to you, if you are unclear please speak to your health care professional or carer.