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National audit of pressure ulcers and incontinence-associated dermatitis in hospitals across Wales: a cross-sectional study

21 Aug 2017

Objective

The Chief Nurse National Health Service Wales initiated a national survey of acute and community hospital patients in Wales to identify the prevalence of pressure ulcers and incontinence-associated dermatitis.

Methods

Teams of two nurses working independently assessed the skin of each inpatient who consented to having their skin observed.

Results

Over 28 September 2015 to 2nd October 2015, 8365 patients were assessed across 66 hospitals with 748 (8.9%) found to have pressure ulcers. Not all patients had their skin inspected with all mental health patients exempt from this part of the audit along with others who did not consent or were too ill. Of the patients with pressure ulcers, 593 (79.3%) had their skin inspected with 158 new pressure ulcers encountered that were not known to ward staff, while 152 pressure ulcers were incorrectly categorised by the ward teams. Incontinence-associated dermatitis was encountered in 360 patients (4.3%), while medical device-related pressure ulcers were rare (n=33). The support surfaces used while patients were in bed were also recorded to provide a baseline against which future changes in equipment procurement could be assessed. The presence of other wounds was also recorded with 2537 (30.3%) of all hospital patients having one or more skin wounds.

Conclusions

This survey has demonstrated that although complex, it is feasible to undertake national surveys of pressure ulcers, incontinence-associated dermatitis and other wounds providing comprehensive and accurate data to help plan improvements in wound care across Wales.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open