Prevention above all! This phrase is a novelty in many areas of health care but it remains the essence of nursing practice and the WOC specialty practice in particular. Jenny Alderden, Mollie Cummins, Ginette Pepper, JoAnne Whitney, Yingying Zhang, Ryan Butcher and Donna Thomas studied the predictive value of the cumulative Braden Scale for Pressure Sore Risk on pressure injury development. Their article, Mid-range Braden Subscale Scores are Associated with Increased Risk for Pressure Injury Development among Critical Care Patients,appears in the September/October issue of JWOCN. I found their insights on the clinical relevance of intermediate risk scores entirely unique, and I believe you will agree after reading this important study.
In her article, Prevention of Heel Pressure Injuries and Plantar Flexion Contractures with Use of a Heel Protector in High-Risk Neurotrauma, Medical, and Surgical Intensive Care Units: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Tina Meyers compares a heel protector to standard of care (pillows) in a randomized controlled trial that evaluates their effect on prevention of heel pressure injuries and plantar flexion contractures. Meyer's study is an important follow up to a quality improvement article that appeared in 2010 (Meyers T. Preventing heel pressure ulcers and plantar flexion in high risk sedated patients) and is precisely the kind of upgrade in scholarly rigor we should all aspire to mimic. Congratulations to Tina Meyer on acting as a shining example in creating the evidence base for our practice via initial evaluation of a preventive intervention in the context of a QI project to definitive provision of level 1 evidence in the context of a randomized controlled trial!
Read over both of these articles and look for other valuable content in this important issue of JWOCN.
Editor-in-Chief: Mikel L. Gray, PhD, FNP, PNP, CUNP, CCCN, FAANP, FAAN