We have previously written about bedsores or decubitus ulcers or pressure sores – different terms referring to the same medical condition. Decubitus ulcers arise when a person is in a sitting or lying position for an extended period of time without shifting his or her weight. The continuous pressure against the skin causes a decreased blood supply to that part of the body. Without a normal blood supply, that part of the body cannot survive and the affected tissue dies.
A study in the April 2007 issue of American Journal of Nursing examines the incidence and high cost of pressure ulcers and presents the results of an implemented protocol to reduce the occurrence of this widespread problem. The study notes that of more than 27 million deaths reported in the United States, pressure ulcers were listed as a cause of in 114,380 of those deaths. That is equivalent over 300 deaths occurring each day in the United States where a bedsore is considered one of the causes. Read what Healthsentinel.com has to say about this study.
Clinical nurse specialists (CNS) instituted a Pressure Ulcer Prevention Protocol Interventions, or PUPPI, at the Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus Ohio. The protocol is a nursing initiative that involves assessing risk and nutritional status, providing skin care, documenting, and giving referrals as needed.