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Initiative to reduce pressure ulcers wins prestigious award

The initiative had reduced pressure ulcers by 73 per cent, something described as a “phenomenal achievement and was worthy of winning the award” said HSE National Director for Quality Improvement, Dr Philip Crowley.

“’Pressure Ulcers to Zero’, a healthcare initiative…began in February 2014 and ran until September in partnership with clinical teams from acute and primary care, community and private nursing homes in the Dublin North East region,” continued Dr Crowley.

“The primary aim was to reduce the number of avoidable pressure ulcers and to increase the capacity and capability of frontline clinical teams to improve the care they deliver.

“Following the very successful programme run by the team in Dublin North East, the initiative will be rolled out on a phased basis across the health system in collaboration with hospital groups and Community Health organisations.

“Sometimes known as bedsores or pressure sores, pressure ulcers are a type of injury that affects areas of the skin and underlying tissue. They are an increasing problem that affect thousands of people unnecessarily every year and are painful, debilitating and can be life threatening. “

Dr Crowley added that around one in 20 people who are admitted to hospital with an acute (sudden) illness will develop a pressure ulcer; with people over 70 being particularly vulnerable.

“It is estimated that it could cost €250 million per annum to manage pressure ulcers across all care settings in Ireland.”

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