Pressure Ulcers in Extended Care Facilities: Report of a Survey

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A survey including 15 extended care facilities with access to ET nurse consulting services was conducted to assess current wound care protocols, practices, and educational backgrounds as well as requirements. Sixty-seven percent of facilities surveyed used a system to describe pressure ulcers. Wound care was provided by licensed practical nurses in 90% of the institutions and product decisions were made by the physician in 65% of facilities surveyed. Gauze-type dressings were used most frequently on all stages and types of pressure ulcers. A significant correlation between ulcer type and dressings used was found for stage II pressure ulcers only. Hydrocolloid and polyurethane film dressings were more likely to be used on stage II ulcers without exudate than on any other type of ulcer (p<0.001). The ET nurse and a variety of other professionals, including product manufacturer representatives, were consulted to assess complicated wounds. In 9 of 15 instances, the ET nurse was rated as the best source of practical wound care information. Respondents preferred wound care meetings that were practical, included all levels of health care providers, focused equally on treatment and prevention, and were not expensive to attend.

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