In our law practice we hear nursing home representatives, and their paid trial experts, take the position that pressure (or decubitus) ulcers just can’t be prevented in the elderly. This is a bunch of baloney and a recent study from New Jersey supports our view!
The New Jersey Hospital Association’s (NJHA) Pressure Ulcer Collaborative announced a 70% reduction in the incidence of new pressure ulcers in its 150 participating healthcare facilities over a two year period. The NJHA tracked pressure ulcers from September 2005 until May of 2007 in hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies.
The most helpful techniques for improvement included complete skin evaluations within eight hours of a patient’s admission, skin breakdown evaluations using the Braden scale, prevention strategies such as positioning, and regular monitoring of patients’ skin conditions.