Despite advances in health care pressure ulcers (PU) remain a major challenge to health care professionals and carers in a variety of care settings; this is despite the fact that 95% of PU are almost completely avoidable (Hibbs, 1995). PU are common, costly and impact negatively on health (Moore et al, 2011). Furthermore the high monetary and human costs associated with PU are set to rise; an aging population in Ireland means that PU prevalence will increase (Gethin et al 2005). Given current economic restraints it is imperative that preventative measures are taken to reduce the high costs associated with the management of avoidable PU.
The RISE- taking the pressure off project was an innovative collaboration between the Discipline of Podiatry and the School of Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway- the first interdisciplinary collaboration of its kind. The project, funded by Explore and the Wound Management Association of Ireland, provided a unique opportunity for staff and students of both disciplines to work together to launch a campaign that aimed to raise awareness of PU prevention within the community; specifically for carers within the home setting.
The acronym RISE was chosen to drive home the basic principles of pressure ulcer prevention:
Reposition- Regular repositioning can prevent tissue damage
Inspect- Inspection of the skin daily can identify areas at risk of ulceration
Skin care- Washing and drying the skin can prevent tissue damage
Eat well- Good nutrition and hydration is essential for health and wellbeing
The project team worked in collaboration with a number of external stakeholders including the Wound Management Association of Ireland, The Carers Association and the Irish Practice Nurses Association in the development of an information leaflet specifically aimed at carers. This final version of the leaflet is attached RISE Information Leaflet
We wish to acknowledge with thanks the funding from EXPLORE NUI Galway, Wound Management Association of Ireland (Western branch) and the valuable feedback and contributions from many colleagues.
The project team- Lauren Brennan (podiatry student), Olga Carey (podiatry student), Dr. Georgina Gethin, Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Sally Glynn (nursing student), Orla Grealish (nursing student), Jacqui Hartigan (podiatry student), Fiona Mullins (podiatry student), Prof. Caroline McIntosh, Head of Podiatry, NUI Galway