BACKGROUND: Infants, especially those born prematurely, are at increased risk for skin breakdown because of the immaturity and fragility of their skin.
METHODS: Following an appraisal of existing skin risk assessment scales, we surmised that none provided valid, clear, and concise assessment criteria and direction for treatment interventions specifically for use with neonates. Using an online survey tool, 2 rounds of the Delphi technique were conducted with interprofessional providers who routinely care for infants. During round 1, participants were asked, "What do you perceive as risk factors for skin breakdown in neonates?" Responses for round 1 were categorized into themes, including the use of medical devices, skin integrity/tolerance, activity/movement, gestational age/birth weight, adhesives, comorbidities, moisture/chemicals, and nutrition/hydration. In round 2, respondents were asked to rank the importance of these themes using a 5-point Likert scale.
RESULTS: These data resulted in the creation of the Seton Infant Skin Risk Assessment Tool, currently being further validated through a retrospective chart review.
(C) 2014 by The National Association of Neonatal Nurses