Posted February 22, 2021
  • | Other
  • | Pressure Injury Prevention
  • | Wound Management

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part

Are Bed Delays Contributing to the Pressure Injury Problem?

The key to prevention is early intervention!

Overstaying the welcome
Every year, over 100 million people visit the Emergency Department in the US. And, while the times vary depending on the facility, millions could wait over two hours, just to see a provider. What’s the hold up?

Many factors contribute to the ED gridlock, but one key component is lack of beds. Patients requiring hospital admission must wait for available beds while new patients remain in triage. This delay has a domino effect on the already overcrowded ED and patients end up parked in the hallways until beds arrive. Throw a pandemic into the mix and capacity concerns become a real threat. Boarding patients leads to congestion and patient frustration but what’s it doing to the skin?

The key to prevention is early intervention
Patients at a high risk of skin breakdown most likely came to the hospital for another condition. And, stretchers aren’t typically noted for their comfort. Now, factor in the risk that pressure injuries can form in as little as 2 hours and there is a bigger problem brewing. As patients wait it out in the hallway, the risk for pressure injuries increases. And, skin checks may not be top priority when lives are at stake. With the current influx of patients into the hospitals, nationwide, overcrowding is not likely to subside.

The best course of action is to protect the patients while they wait for beds. Hard stretchers can easily be outfitted with portable support surfaces designed to mitigate the impact of pressure injuries. Those with existing PIs or those just at risk can rest assured that they are protected. Patients are more comfortable while the pressure on their bodies is evenly distributed. Ease the pressure for patients required to wait.

Choose a support surface versatile enough to remain steadfast to the patient’s care plan from entry to discharge, regardless of wait times! The ideal surface solution to best meet the patient’s needs – because matching the patient to the product is always the best course of action.