Pressure Ulcer Management in Older Population
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Session presented on Saturday, July 23, 2016 and Sunday, July 24, 2016: Purpose: The aim of this study is to increase the awareness of health care proffessionals but especially nurses' about the pressure ulcer management in older population. Methods: This study is a literature review. Results: Wound care but especially pressure ulcer care is a crucial in caring for older population. It is important to prevent the occurance of pressure ulcer because they cause prolong the length of stay at hospital, increase health care costs, increase susceptibility to secondary infections, increase mortality rates and decrease quality of life. According to literature approximately 70% of all pressure ulcers occur in the geriatric population. Depression, poor appetite, cognitive impairments, and physical/economic barriers interfering with adequate nutrition may impair wound healing in older population. However, those are not the only reasons. In older population delay in wound healing also occur with age-related changes affecting wound healing such as; thinning dermal layer of skin; decreased subcutaneous tissue; delay in regeneration (regeneration of healthy skin takes twice as long for an 80-year-old as it does for a 30-year-old); susceptibility to delayed wound healing and wound infections (conditions that interfere with circulation; diminished immune response from reduced T-lymphocyte cells predisposes older adults to wound infections); signs of inflammation may be more subtle in those. Assessment of risk with valid and reliable tools, repositioning and mobilization, and the use of appropriate support surfaces are the most common practices for management of pressure ulcers among older population. Conclusion: Pressure ulcer risk of older population is high due to accompanying chronic diseases that cause negative health outcomes, reduced quality of life, and represent a burden for health care systems. All health care professionals but especially nurses should be aware those risks for older population and if possible try to prevent the occurance if not have to know the best practices to help the healing process and support the older population.