CAN SUPPORT SURFACES WITH INTEGRATED HEEL ZONES HELP COMBAT HEEL PRESSURE ULCERS?
Introduction Pressure Ulcers on the heels have become increasingly prevalent with many studies indicating that they are becoming the most common area for pressure ulcer development. Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WW&L NHSFT) implement a robust pressure assessment tool, which has meant nursing teams are often able to intervene early to avoid potential skin breakdown events before they occur. However 2 wards were having problems with patient heels that were becoming quite red and at risk of breaking down, mainly due to the nature of the surgery they have and also undergoing blocks during surgery and lack of mobility after surgery. NICE guidelines* recommend that to prevent heel ulceration patients who are identifi ed as being ‘At Risk’ should have their heels fl oated. WW&L NHSFT investigated available innovations in support surfaces to evaluate that could ensure the fl oating of patient heels when required with minimal use of add-ons (such as gutter splints) and without compromising valuable staff time.