It is commonsense that prevention is better than cure - this applies particularly to pressure sores, which are painful and slow to heal, and most of which are definitely preventable if good clinical practice is followed.
High Impact Actions are eight practices chosen by healthcare professionals which if universally implemented would deliver the greatest benefits in terms of raising quality, improving the experience of patients and reducing costs. Prevention of pressure sores is one of these - it has been estimated that the NHS currently spends more than £2 billion a year on care of pressure ulcers, 4% of their total budget. About 20% of hospital patients have some form of pressure damage, and with an ageing population, suffering from long-term conditions such as diabetes and circulatory diseases which increase the risks of developing ulcers and other chronic wounds, it is easy to see that an efficient, proactive approach to prevention of pressure sores can deliver major benefits.
Tissue Viability is the nurse specialism associated with pressure care, management of decubitus ulcers (pressure sores) and prevention of the development of sores in the first place. Careful risk assessment and early intervention for those people who are at risk, with suitable pressure relieving cushions and mattresses, as well as pressure relief protection for fragile skin in the bath and on the commode, are essential steps in reducing the prevalence of avoidable pressure ulcers.