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'Dog' helping to prevent pressure ulcers among children

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Tissue viability nurses in Lincolnshire have devised a workbook for children featuring the story of Pip, a pug dog, and his pressure ulcer.

Pip stands for prevent “pressure injury in paediatrics”, said Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, which has introduced the idea on its children’s wards.

“We wanted a fun and innovative way to get the messages out about how to prevent pressure ulcers to both children and their parents and carers”

Judith Barnard

The workbook – titled “Pip goes to hospital” – tells the story of Pip who breaks a leg and has to go to hospital.

Because he stays in one position for too long he starts to develop a pressure ulcer. But luckily he tells his mummy about it and she alerts the nurse and the ulcer is prevented.

The book also has a range of activities and games aimed at educating children and their parents about pressure ulcers and what can be done to prevent them.

Judith Barnard, clinical nurse specialist in tissue viability, came up with the idea for Pip and drew all the artwork by hand.

She said: “We wanted a fun and innovative way to get the messages out about how to prevent pressure ulcers to both children and their parents and carers.

“We’ve been using a pug dog as our logo for a while and we came up with the Pip character on the back of it,” she added.

It represents the latest initiative the team have devised to tackle pressure ulcers.

The team have recently provided pocket mirrors to all nursing staff to help identify pressure ulcers in hard-to-see places, like on heels, and are currently rolling out a grading wheel tool to help staff identify correctly the grade of the pressure ulcer.

The nurses have been able to do this thanks to the trust’s “dragons den” scheme where they pitched for funds to tackle pressure ulcers across the three hospitals.

The trust has pledged to reduce the number of avoidable grade three pressure ulcers by 50% and avoidable grade four pressure ulcers to zero in the next three years.

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