Taking action on Stop Pressure Injury Day

1 November 2013

PAULA MCKINNEL of the New Zealand Wound Care Society sets the scene for November 21’s worldwide Stop Pressure Injury Day.

The impact of pressure injuries is devastating not only to the individual but also to their loved ones. Prevention of developing PI is therefore paramount.

With that aim in mind the Pan Pacific Pressure Injury Guidelines were launched in 2011. The New Zealand Wound Care society has since been busy promoting those guidelines at a local and national level. In 2012, the society was invited, as part of the Pan Pacific group, to also join the review of the current North American and European pressure injury guidelines. Pam Mitchell, the society’s vice president and a wound care consultant for Canterbury District Health Board, is representing our country in this international arena. There are also many colleagues around New Zealand contributing, for example, as members of subgroups reviewing research articles.

We all have the same vision: to have an international approach to pressure injury prevention. Once the combined North America, European, and Pan Pacific guidelines are launched in early 2014, we will be one big step closer to this aim. Many countries are working together to fight the battle against pressure injuries. Of course, the society as a charitable trust is limited in its monetary resources and all of us are enthusiastically doing the work in our spare time and after hours. Therefore, it is important that we are able to share resources locally, nationally, and worldwide.

So the society is grateful that we are able to call on fantastic international and national material to promote and mark 2013’s Worldwide Stop Pressure Injury Day.

Internationally, the “care bundle approach” has demonstrated benefits in reducing the number of pressure injuries. Simple message such as SKINS (surface, keep moving, incontinence, nutrition, and skin inspection) as the key prevention and management guide have been used alongside – but not in replacement of ­­­– a pressure injury risk assessment tool such as Braden or Waterlow.

This year, the society has collaborated with Capital & Coast DHB, which has produced a pressure injury poster drawing on the UK’s Midlands & East NHS resources (www.stopthepressure.com).

The Northern DHB’s First Do No Harm project group (www.firstdonoharm.org.nz) and Counties Manukau District Health Board have also shared their patient information leaflet. The NZWCS website plans to share such resources with free downloads, where possible, and hyperlinks to other valuable local and international resources such as guidelines and education material. Health industry has also kindly provided sponsorship for the information materials to be produced and distributed.

The society’s Wellington region is holding an evening seminar on November 20 on preventing pressure injuries that introduces the SKINS pressure injury prevention and management concept.

Many of these resources can be found on www.nzwcs.org.nz