Aged Care: Reducing Injuries from Pressure
A new research has revealed learning new methods and using sophisticated products can help increase healing time when pressure wounds are being treated in residential aged care facilities. Published in the International Wound Journal, the new study’s goal is to come up with tools that will benefit aged communities by calculating pressure injury treatment.
According to the Ageing Agenda, the study was spearheaded by a clinical nurse consultant in wound management and University of Melbourne master’s student. Lauren Wilson observed 20 participants with 23 pressure injuries for four months at a Victorian Regis Aged Care facility before coming up with a conclusion.
Pressure injuries or pressure sores are parts of the body (skin and even the tissue) that eventually becomes damaged when exposed to prolonged pressure on a specific area. An example is when the aged is lying in the same position for a long time without moving or changing positions. There are many factors for this happen, and one of the common causes are physical injuries or debilities. Fortunately, this can be avoided with the presence of a skillful nurse.
But when the sore is taking too long to heal, it will then become a pressure ulcer. In other words, a pressure ulcer is when there is constant pressure on one area, making that part experience a decrease in blood supply. Do take note that the area affected will not survive when there is no blood supply, which will, later on, leave an ulcer.
The report said Ms Wilson developed an evidence-based practice model that will look at different dressings and find out which will have the quickest healing time, how much a certain model will cost, the actual practice treatment and projected treatment.
According to Ms Wilson’s research, the evidence-model cost $99,693 or $42.93 per day for a maximum of 2,322 wound days for all participants. It’s more expensive as it uses a more expensive and “sophisticated” dressings but is able to produce better results — lower in overall costs. Another factor that added to the cost is the consistent changing of dressing on the wounds, which the study said should be changed every 1,6 days. Among the sophisticated products used in the study are antimicrobial dressings, which are used for people with chronic wounds, and products with silver or iodine properties.
“The cost of treating wounds with more expensive products might be higher per dressing but if you get a quicker healing time, then the overall cost is lower,” Dr Kapp told Australian Ageing Agenda, research co-author Dr Suzanne Kapp, co-ordinator of Master of Advanced Nursing Practice at The University of Melbourne.
“The costs of dressings, nurse hours and of equipment to relieve pressure would be lower because you would be paying for it for fewer days,” she added.
Other ways in lifting the economic burden of pressure injuries, according to Dr Kapp, is to raise awareness on the issue, more education to staff and aged care providers should become involved in researches targeted to pressure injuries and related costs in order to gather data for its betterment.
“Saying ‘yes, we want to be involved’ and recognising that pressure injuries are a problem everywhere in all aged care facilities will be beneficial,” Dr Kapp said.
As for students or professionals who want to get involved in the industry, studying aged care is essential in understanding how the industry works and its issues. If you’re interested in becoming professional in this field, you can take up aged care courses melbourne from MCIE, one of the most industry-acclaimed training providers in Victoria for its capability in providing career-centric training, under industry professionals.
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