Exploring pressure ulcer prevention

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Abstract

The Department of Health (DH, 2006) state that the number of older people in the United Kingdom (UK) is rising with the fastest growing age group in the population being those aged 80 years. They currently constitute 4.5 per cent (2,749,507) of the total population, this age group has increased by over 1.1 million between 1981 and 2007 (1,572,160 to 2,749,507), from 2.8 per cent to 4.5 per cent and according to Williams (2005) the incidence of pressure ulcers may also rise. Bennett et al. (2004) state that approximately 412,000 individuals will develop a pressure ulcer annually in the UK suggesting that the need for education for all professionals involved in pressure area care and the ability to utilise the available resources in an effective and efficient manner is important. The financial costs associated with the treatment of pressure ulcers have become a concern for all professionals involved with Bennett et al. (2004) assessing the cost to treat a pressure ulcer as ranging from £1,064 to £10,551 depending upon its severity. Indeed the government, who in the Health of the Nation document (DH, 1992), set targets to reduce the prevalence by between five and 10 per cent. The government continues to recognise the problem that pressure ulcers represent and healthcare providers are required to divert specific resources to their prevention (DH, 2001; DH, 2000; NICE, 2003; 2005). With the increased number of complaints regarding patient care issues and the rise in litigation, the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers is an inter-disciplinary responsibility (Knowlton, 2003).

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Community Nursing
Volume23
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2009

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