VOL: 99, ISSUE: 13, PAGE NO: 71
Jayne Richards, BA, RGN, is tissue viability nurse specialist Gateshead Health NHS Trust and Gateshead PCT
Kath Lowery, BSc, RMN, is research fellow, Gateshead Health NHS Trust;Bev Atkinson, MSc, BSc, RGN, is deputy director of nursing and midwifery at Gateshead Health NHS Trust
A pressure ulcer can be defined as a skin wound which occurs following disruption to the blood supply due to pressure, shearing and/or friction (Dealey, 1997). The grading of pressure ulcers ranges from grade 1 (skin intact, but redness present, blistering, non-blanching hyperaemia) to grade 4 (full thickness skin loss with extensive destruction, necrosis and damage of muscle, bone and supporting structures). The higher an ulcer’s grade, the more severe are the implications for treatment, financial costs and impact on patient recovery.