Posted August 10, 2020
  • | Continuum of Care
  • | Other
  • | Wound Management

Upward Mobility: Pressure Injury Prevention in Ambulances

Protecting patient’s skin wherever their journey takes them

Supportive Surfaces:
From Entry to Discharge

Pressure injuries are equal opportunity problems and they typically don’t greet the patients at the Emergency Department door. They often start earlier—at home, and sometimes in the ambulance before arrival. 

While facilities can’t control what is going on at home, they can minimize the pressure injury risk within the ambulance. One particular study looked at the pressure injury incidence rate of adults entering the ED via ambulance and discovered an increase of 5.2%.1 If these pressure injuries aren’t documented as present-on-admission, the potential for them to be incorrectly classified as hospital-acquired increases. And along with it, the financial burden on the facility. 

Supportive Surfaces: From Entry to Discharge 

Our best advice for preventing these injuries? Start where the journey begins! Support surfaces specially designed for pressure injury management are ideal for early intervention and often fit right on the stretcher or gurney. Patients aren’t typically transported via ambulance because of skin problems, and in transit, EMTs need to focus on the critical issues. Not having to worry about pressure injury risk will lessen the load. 

Once a patient enters the ED, wait times can vary based on acuity, capacity and a multitude of other conditions. But the risk to the skin doesn’t stop. The support surface should be durable and mobile enough to stay with the patient. If a patient strategy is working, common sense dictates that it should continue. 

As a patient’s journey moves beyond the ED, it is important to maintain the pressure injury prevention that began before admission. Specialty beds have certainly come a long way in patient care. They’re sleek and high tech. But, with certain exceptions, they don’t always follow the patient throughout the continuum. Choose a support surface versatile enough to remain steadfast to the patient’s care plan from entry to discharge.  

Be sure to find 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.