Pressure Ulcers
£9.95 GBP, 2 hours

Pressure ulcers are an often-preventable complication for at-risk patients in hospitals, the community, and long-term care facilities. The development of a pressure ulcer is both painful and costly, and has a significant impact on patients' quality of life, morbidity and mortality. While prevention is not possible for all patients, early assessment of risk, and implementation of preventive measures are essential steps in the provision of quality nursing care. The use of pressure ulcer incidence as a means of evaluating quality of nursing care is becoming increasingly common across care settings.

A pressure injury occurs where body tissues are compressed and/or exposed to shear sufficient to impair cell function. Whether an ulcer develops depends on the duration and degree of pressure (or shear) and the resilience of the affected tissue. There are many assessment tools to assist nurses in determining an individual’s risk for development of a pressure injury, but these have not been shown to decrease ulcer incidence, and cannot replace expert nursing assessment. Preventive measures used in hospitals and care facilities can be expensive and resource intensive, and many of these strategies are not well tested. 

After completing this online learning activity and quiz, you should be able to:

  •  Describe risk factors associated with development of pressure ulcers and the utility of assessment tools in measuring these.
  • Discuss rationales for prevention measures and devices used in the management of pressure injury risk.
  • Outline the pathophysiology of pressure injury and the assessment of severity of ulcers.

THE PDF file accompanying this activity was first published in Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand in 2013. Content is not identical.

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