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Nurse teams to reduce pressure injuries.

CANTERBURY DISTRICT Health Board (DHB) has recruited 52 pressure-injury prevention link nurses to help reduce the incidence and severity of pressure injuries across Canterbury and the West Coast.

The initiative, which will operate across all nursing settings, is part of a broader national strategy funded by the Accident Compensation Commission (ACC).

ACC estimates that each year 55,000 New Zealanders sustain a pressure injury, with 3000 people developing an injury so serious that muscle, bone or tendon may be exposed. Pressure injuries cause physical pain and discomfort, result in admission to hospital, longer hospital stays and, in some cases, can even lead to death.

For some patients, pressure injuries can take months or even years to heal, causing pain, distress and major disruption to their lives and livelihoods. Treatment of pressure injuries is estimated to cost $694 million each year.

Canterbury and West Coast DHBs' director of quality and patient safety Susan Wood said more than 60 patients came into Christchurch Hospital each month with existing pressure injuries. "While we need to prevent pressure injuries in our hospitals, we are also focusing on community prevention and raising awareness of the risk factors and management strategies to prevent pressure injuries in the community across all health teams. This includes keeping people moving when lying or sitting, ensuring they eat well and keeping their skin clean and dry."

The newly recruited link nurses are expected to become change agents and clinical leaders wherever they work,

Wood said. They will be given a day a month paid release time from their normal clinical work, which she expects will enable them to make a real difference. They will undertake a level-7 pressure injury prevention paper at Ara Institute of Canterbury. Its focus will be on learning to teach, undertake surveillance and engage their health-care colleagues to deliver best practice. Alongside this, Canterbury DHB will run inservice courses on quality improvement processes.

Part of the strategy includes an online discussion forum, healthLearn, open to all professional and unqualified staff.

* World Wide Pressure Injury Prevention Day is on November 15.

Caption: Susan Wood

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Title Annotation:news and events
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Article Type:Report
Date:Nov 1, 2018
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