When it comes to improving skin health outcomes, one of your most valuable resources is the 2019 National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel’s Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers/Injuries: Clinical Practice Guideline. If you’re currently caring for patients suffering from COVID-19, its evidence-based best practices are more important than ever.
One area to pay close attention to involves pressure injury prevention during prone positioning. Patients who are experiencing acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) as a symptom of COVID-19 may be placed in the prone position for 12 hours or more.1 The goal of this strategy is to enhance oxygenation and perfusion rates; decrease strain on the lung tissue and lower risk of ventilator injury.2
However, along with its benefits, prone positioning can increase the risk of pressure injuries.3
Pressure points at risk
The NPIAP indicates areas where prone positioning can increase the risk of pressure injuries:2
“It’s important that, as wound care nurses, we continue to bring evidence-based practice to our nurses and use the NPIAP guidelines on prone positioning to help reduce the risk for pressure injuries in patients suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome due to COVID-19,” notes Medline clinician Kristin White, RN, BSN, CWON. “Our frontline nurses are working so hard to care for these patients, and they need to be armed with the right tools,” she stresses.
More tools to help you do the right thing
If you’re working longer hours and seeing a growing number of patients who require prone positioning, rely on your resources to provide consistent care. Combine NPIAP evidence-based best practices with the right products to strengthen your prevention and treatment efforts.
While prone positioning may help treat COVID-19 patients suffering from ARDS, it may also increase their risk of pressure injuries. To help prevent PIs, it’s important to follow evidence-based best practices and choose the right tools. Remember, this NPIAP resource, available for download now, can help inform your practice and improve skin health outcomes.