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Derriford specialist nurses take initiative on ulcer prevention

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Tissue viability nurses at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust have been spreading the message to colleagues about the importance of trying to prevent ulcers developing.

The tissue viability team have been wearing their pink t-shirts and hosting a series of events across the trust’s Derriford Hospital this week to encourage people to “Stop the Pressure”.

Annie Cornelius, pressure ulcer specialist nurse, said: “In the majority of cases, pressure ulcers can be preventable, if simple measures are followed.

“Throughout this week we have been on hand in and around Derriford Hospital, holding drop-in sessions for staff on the use of equipment and lotions, early recognition of pressure ulcers and how patients and their families can help too,” she said.

She added: “Pressure ulcers are not just associated with those typically considered at risk; they can affect patients of all ages.

“They do predominately affect those who are more vulnerable, for example frail and elderly patients, however, they are also seen in patients with medical devices, such as oxygen and nasogastric tubes, which can cause them to develop pressure ulcers,” she said.

Pia Prince, matron for tissue viability, added: “Last year, of the more than 100,000 inpatients treated at Derriford Hospital, 476 developed a pressure ulcer, of grade 2 and above.

“Our intention is to reduce this by 50% this year,” she said.


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Readers' comments (1)

  • michael stone

    At risk of someone telling me that I'm talking out of my hat, it strikes me that not only ulcer prevention, but also ulcer treatment, is exactly the type of area where specialist nurses should probably be leading ?

    I suspect that assessing ulcers - are they healing or getting worse, etc - is something which would really 'improve with a LOT of practice': so my 'gut instinct', makes me suspect that anyone who 'did the ulcers as their day job' would probably be better at it, than anyone who 'just sees a few'. Rather like hip-replacement surgery, where you want the surgeon who does 100 operations a year, not a surgeon who does 5 a year.

    I'll now wait, and see if I do get told that my 'instinct about this' is nonsense.

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