Pressure injuries commonly occur when a patient is unable to move around freely and points of the body are then put under pressure, generally a result of lying down. Common injury sites are the back of the head, shoulder blades, elbows, lower back and heels, the parts of the body that come into most contact with a patient's bed.
To try and combat the prevalence of these painful sores on the head, commercial and custom made products-which are thought to assist with supporting the head-are often used to assist in redistributing the pressure experienced when lying down. However, there is little evidence-based support for these products. The majority of these are used based on clinicians' experience or anecdotal evidence and as such, this may or may not be providing the best outcomes for patients.
Researchers supported by The Common Good are undertaking a project that will assess the pressure redistribution properties of both commercial and custom made products with the intensive care unit of The Prince Charles Hospital.
The study hopes to increase the knowledge and understanding of the benefits these products can provide and help to establish clear evidence based standards and guidelines for patient care in the prevention of pressure injuries.
A reduction in pressure injuries will help to improve patient outcomes by reducing the risk of infection, reducing recovery times and prevent prolonged hospital stays – opening up hospital beds and treatment for more patients in need.
When a patient's heart and lungs begin to fail, they are often put on a treatment called extra corporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO for short. These life-support systems are often the last chance to help critically ill patients recover by helping to pump blood and oxygen around the body. From infants to children and adults, these amazing machines have saved tens of thousands of lives worldwide.
Research has shown that the inability to talk can lead to depression, social withdrawal, lack of motivation to participate in self-care, and more. This is a common issue that occurs in intensive care units (or ICUs) all over the world - patients that require a tracheostomy (a procedure that involves inserting a tube through the windpipe to create an alternative airway for breathing) lose the ability to speak, as oxygen isn't make its way past their vocal chords.