DEPARTMENTS: PRACTICE POINTS
Pressure Ulcer Evidence-Based Treatment Pathway Integrated with Evidence-Based Decisions
Pressure ulcers (PrUs) remain the biggest challenge wound care practitioners face today, and they occur in patients in all healthcare settings. On admission, clinicians should initiate proper procedures and the use of support surfaces to prevent and treat existing PrUs. It is also important to keep in mind that not all products meet the particular criteria for each individual patient. Effective interventions demand a multidisciplinary team approach that coordinates the needs of the patient.
The sample pathway (Figure 1) in this column, as previous columns, provides the clinician and physicians with evidence-based recommendations for the care of pressure-related wounds. Key decision points are provided based on research that combines healing rates with expected outcomes. If the patient does not meet a given healing rate, closure objective research suggests that he/she will experience delayed healing in the weeks to come. The provider may, at this point, act on further evidence-based adjunctive therapy recommendations altering the patient’s expected negative outcome. Think defensively!
1. Whitney J, Phillips L, Aslam R, et al. Guidelines for the treatment of pressure ulcers. Wound Repair Regen 2006; 14: 663–79.
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2. Van Rijswijk L. Full-thickness pressure ulcers: patient and wound healing characteristics. Decubitus 1993; 6 (1): 16–21.