Task232017JC.pdf - Pressure Ulcers Jennifer Compton Western...

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Pressure Ulcers Jennifer Compton Western Governors University 3/20/2017
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Healthcare Problem: Pressure Ulcers As a medical complication, pressure ulcers (PU) are prevalent among the elderly population. The prevalence of this medical condition is attributable to increase in the elderly population and its associated co-morbidities (Agrawal & Chauhan, 2012). Pressure ulcers result in prolonged hospitalization and decreased quality of life among the elderly population. Its active development is triggered by a wide range of systematic factors including malnutrition, chronic diseases, functional impairment, aging of the skin and infections (Chou et al., 2013). Other predisposing factors include albumin, low protein, anemia, and low body mass index. It is the role of the primary caregivers to prevent pressure ulcers from developing through patient and family education. The education should ideally focus on the importance of position changes, pressure relieving devices including cushions and mattresses, skin lubrication, and the intake of adequate calories by the patient. For effective prevention of pressure ulcers, a zero-tolerance policy is mandatory for both the primary nurse and physician. Significance of the Problem The occurrence of pressure ulcers exerts a heavy financial burden on both the patient's’ family and the healthcare facility. Pressure ulcers also deteriorate the quality of life of the patient and in turn their life expectancy. Notably, pressure ulcers patient caregivers often feel stressed by their challenging workload which triggers further complications and infections (Reddy, Gill & Rochon, 2006).The aging process in combination with co-morbidities increases the elderly population risk for pressure ulcers. It is increasingly becoming difficult for healthcare facilities to
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implement preventive intervention strategies for individuals suffering from traumatic conditions such as deconditioning and hip fracture. As a result of this challenge, the number of individuals developing pressure ulcers is on the rise. Equally, early discharge of individuals suffering from chronic conditions increases their risk of developing pressure ulcers. In a study conducted by Reddy Gill & Rochon (2006), it was evident that pressure ulcers increases health care costs because individuals with this condition are forced to stay in hospital for many days compared to their counterparts. Taking an example of the UK, it costs approximately 1.4 to 2.1 billion pounds on an annual basis to treat pressure ulcers (Reddy, Gill & Rochon, 2006). However, the cost increases with the wounds severity. In 2010, the United States used about $ 124,327 to treat community-acquired pressure ulcers (Reddy, Gill & Rochon, 2006). Pressure ulcers take time to heal and are characterized by complications such as osteomyelitis or infections that further increases the financial burden exerted on healthcare facilities and individual patient families. According to Reddy, Gill & Rochon (2006) study, the length of stay of individuals without pressure ulcers was 3.2days whereas those with pressure ulcers were 18.8days. The study also noted that the rate of mortality
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