Care Blog

SSKIN: 5 steps to prevent pressure ulcers

Even though there have been improvements in pressure ulcer/bed sore prevention across many UK care facilities, pressure ulcers continue to affect approximately 20% of all patients in hospitals, nursing homes and residential homes.

Developed pressure sores that could have been avoided are a key indicator of the quality of nursing in a care facility.

Pressure ulcers affect around 20% of patients in hospitals, nursing homes and residential homes

The cost of pressure ulcers

Preventing ulcers developing will greatly improve all care for vulnerable patients, both for the patient themselves and the caregiver. Effectively preventing pressure sores is far more cost effective and less of a strain on resources than allowing them to develop. It is estimated that each developed pressure ulcer adds additional costs of care of over £4,000.

They are the single most costly chronic wound to our National Health Service, costing £1.4-2.1 billion every year. 186,617 patients develop a pressure sore in hospitals each year, putting a significant strain on resources.

The majority of pressure ulcers are avoidable

Research presented by the NHS's 'Stop the Pressure' campaign suggests that a massive 95% of all pressure ulcers can be avoided with effective patient care. With the correct patient care, we could be saving millions of pounds and improving care for patients, carers and care operators.

95% of pressure ulcers are preventable by using SSKIN

My purpose in writing this post is to increase awareness around the SSKIN acronym which clearly and visually breaks down five easy-to-remember steps that ensure effective pressure care. The acronym applies to both the prevention and the treatment of pressure ulcers/sores...

SSKIN: 5 simple steps

The SSKIN acronym shows five actionable steps that greatly assist the prevention of pressure ulcers. The five letters stand for:

Surface: Ensure the surfaces supporting you patient offer sufficient pressure relief

Skin inspection: Early inspection enables early detection which is when ulcers are the easiest to treat

Keep your patients moving: Regular body movement assists blood flow and redistributes pressure

Incontinence/moisture: A clean and dry patient is less likely to develop pressure ulcers

Nutrition/hydration: The right diet and plenty of fluids keep the patient's skin healthy

Video summary by NHS Midlands and East

The SSKIN acronym was launched by NHS Midlands and East as part of their ambition to make life better for patients and the campaign has been rolled out nationally. View a video summary of SSKIN created by the trust...

Let me know your thoughts about SSKIN in the comments section below...


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