Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Rising to the challenges

  • Comment

VOL: 98, ISSUE: 08, PAGE NO: 49

Ann Shuttleworth

Patients with a number of co-existing health problems represent major challenges to health care professionals, as they may need care from a range of specialisms. Ensuring continuity of care can be difficult, and all too often their needs may not be met.

Patients with a number of co-existing health problems represent major challenges to health care professionals, as they may need care from a range of specialisms. Ensuring continuity of care can be difficult, and all too often their needs may not be met.

As the number of older people grows, so does the number of patients with co-morbidity, and the issue needs to be tackled by cooperation and collaboration between professions and specialisms. In this issue, Anita Kilroy-Findley and Carolyn Wheatley present a case study which demonstrates how such collaboration helped a patient with intractable leg ulcers and mental health problems. The patient received care in five settings, and nurses in each setting were trained in leg ulcer care and compression bandaging to ensure that her leg ulcers were appropriately treated throughout.

Many nurses will be familiar with the sight of patients seated in chairs next to a bed equipped with an expensive high-tech pressure-redistributing mattress. However, the use of pressure-redistributing cushions for these patients is far less common. Reviewing the research into pressure-redistributing cushions, Michael Clarke suggests that this may be due to the lack of randomised control trials assessing their effectiveness in preventing pressure damage. In the absence of information on which, if any, surfaces are effective, patients are often seated for hours without any cushion.

The NHS spends vast amounts of money on special mattresses and other pressure-redistributing beds. At-risk patients cannot be kept in bed simply because there is no information on how best they can be seated. If we accept that pressure redistribution is cost-effective, trials are urgently needed to ascertain which seating surfaces are safest.

Also in this issue, Lillian Bradley discusses the conservative management of pre-tibial lacerations. Although this can prolong healing, it can avoid creating donor sites and the need for hospitalisation. However, thorough assessment and patient consultation are necessary to ensure the correct treatment choice.

Finally, Terry Shipperley and Claire Martin describe an innovative teaching tool developed to help nurses to understand the wound healing process. The tool uses the allegory of how the emergency services and other professions respond to a burning building to illustrate how the body reacts at each stage of healing.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.