Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Prevention of Pressure Injuries in the Operating Room: A Quality Improvement Project

Riemenschneider, Karen, J.

Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing: March/April 2018 - Volume 45 - Issue 2 - p 141–145
doi: 10.1097/WON.0000000000000410
Wound Care

Prevention of hospital-acquired pressure injuries (HAPIs) remains a crucial clinical challenge especially for those patients undergoing surgery. The purpose of this project was to examine whether a 5-layer silicone foam dressing applied to the sacrum of patients undergoing vascular surgery decreased the occurrence of sacral pressure injuries and to explore participant characteristics associated with the development of operating room (OR)-related pressure injuries. A pre-/postintervention design, quality improvement project in a convenience sample of 81 patients undergoing vascular surgery, in a 700-bed level I trauma acute care setting, in the Northeastern United States. Eighty-one patients undergoing vascular surgery participated in this project. Thirty-seven were in the preintervention group who were identified from the housewide pressure injury prevalence data from May and December 2010 and received standard pressure injury prevention while hospitalized. Forty-four patients in the intervention group were identified from a hospital-based outpatient vascular surgery office and preoperatively received the 5-layer silicone foam dressing in addition to standard care. Data were collected on the third and seventh postoperative days via the electronic medical record and paper medical records. Collected data included age, gender, comorbidities (diabetes, hypertension, peripheral vascular disease and, smoking status), presence of a 5-layer silicone sacral foam dressing, and pressure injury occurrence. Analysis included descriptive statistics, Fisher exact test to compare groups, and logistic regression to identify associated risk factors. More than 50% (n = 19) in the preintervention group developed a hospital-acquired pressure injury while only 1 subject (n = 2%) in the intervention group developed a hospital-acquired pressure injury (P = .000). Findings indicate that, after controlling for age, gender, and other comorbidities, application of a 5-layer silicone sacral foam dressing significantly reduced the likelihood of development of a new pressure injury (OR= 0.04, 95% confidence interval, 0.00-40; P = .006). This pre–/postquality improvement project, using a 5-layer silicone sacral foam dressing in addition to standard operating room pressure injury preventive interventions, for elective vascular surgical cases, resulted in a significant decrease in sacral operating room-related pressure injuries. These findings suggest the effectiveness of a 5-layer silicone foam dressing when added to standard preventive interventions. The findings warrant further investigation of additional preventative interventions in the OR specific to high-risk populations.

Karen J. Riemenschneider, DNP, RN-BC, CWOCN, CNS, Albany Medical Center, Albany, New York.

Correspondence: Karen J. Riemenschneider, DNP, RN-BC, CWOCN, CNS, Albany Medical Center, 42 New Scotland Avenue, MC 73, Albany, NY, 12208-3479 (

Mölnlycke supplied the Mepilex sacral foam dressing that was used in the OR for each study patient.

The company had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citation appears in the printed text and is provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

The author has no relevant conflict of interest to disclose.

© 2018 by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society.