Better care starts with safety and comfort.

Addressing Pressure Ulcers in Senior Care with Innovative Linen Solutions

By Greg Snoddy, Vice President, Healthcare Sales - Senior Living
November 2017


Addressing incontinence as a potential safety issue is all the more relevant this month as the Urology Care Foundation has dedicated November as Bladder Health Month. Senior living management who aim to provide an optimal experience for all residents within their facility are faced with a major issue that threatens both a resident’s comfort and safety: pressure ulcers. Residents in senior care are particularly at risk for developing pressure ulcers as a potential complication of prolonged bed rest.

Pressure ulcers (also known as pressure injuries) occur when prolonged pressure and tissue shear affect a local area of skin over a bony prominence, such as the elbow, heel or sacrum. Moist skin is five times as likely to become ulcerated as dry skin, so maintaining a dry surface underneath residents is vital to avoid skin breakdown. It is important to minimize a resident’s exposure to moisture by assessing and treating incontinence at the time of occurrence.

Facilities serving an aging population should adopt protocols and products that maintain skin integrity and prevent skin breakdown. The NPUAP (National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel) has great resources to help healthcare providers manage a pressure injury prevention program, such as this sample program summary: Pressure Injury Prevention Points 2016

Maintain skin integrity and prevent skin breakdown

Pressure ulcer prevention is a key priority for healthcare manufacturers

With increased awareness of the need to prevent pressure injuries, healthcare product manufacturers have made recent technological improvements in both reusable and disposable linen products. The response to an industry-wide call for improved care has yielded lower-profile, faster-wicking materials and construction techniques that enhance microclimate air flow and reduce the chances of undue pressure.

High quality incontinent care underpads and linens play a key role in the prevention of pressure ulcers. They can be beneficial to residents and care providers because of their ability to promote skin integrity while simultaneously protecting bed linens. Low-profile repositioning sheets can also help staff keep prolonged pressure off of one area in conjunction with a turning and positioning program.

Premium incontinent care products prevent skin breakdown

Moisture management is important to successful skin integrity. Quality linens factor into reducing the amount of bunching, pressure, shearing, friction and moisture to which patients are exposed. We are now more aware of the extent that excess moisture, bunching, pressure, shearing and friction from bed linens and related incontinent products can contribute to skin breakdown and discomfort.

When determining the correct product choice to contain incontinence, assess the textile components. Multi-layer composition of underpads promotes air circulation under the patient and maintains body temperature without heat build-up. Consider synthetic fabrics designed specifically to be comfortable against a resident’s skin and quickly wick away moisture from the skin surface to the inner layer soaker. Be sure to adopt pads that include a non-slick barrier layer on the bottom of the underpad that help to keep it securely in place without bunching up. A well designed incontinent pad, along with quality care, can help mitigate skin breakdown and complications related to incontinence.

Encompass Group Incontinent Care products are designed to ensure your patients maintain their dignity while simultaneously providing you with a premium and long lasting product. All of our products are designed to provide unmatched protection and comfort for residents in your facility. Call 1-800-328-5525 or email me today for more detail on how incontinent care products keep your residents safe and comfortable.


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