Doha, 26 December 2022: Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) recently celebrated the World Pressure Injury Prevention Day, which is marked every year in November to raise awareness among medical and nursing professionals about pressure ulcers and how to prevent them.
To mark the occasion, the Advanced Wound Care Unit at the Department of Surgery organized a series of events on 21 and 22 December at Hamad General Hospital (HGH) and Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital (HMGH).
Present at the event at HGH was Dr. Mohammed Al Akkad, Deputy Chair of Surgery Department at HMC; while the event at HMGH was held in the presence of Mr. Hussein Al Eshaq, Executive Director of HMGH; Dr. Morshed Ali Salah, Head of Surgery Departments at HMGH; and Dr. Muayad Kasim, Deputy Chairman of the Department of Medicine.
Dr. Rashad Al-Feki, Senior Consultant Surgeon and Head of the Advanced Wound Care Unit at HMC, said that reducing the incidence of pressure ulcers and their complications can result in important improvements in patients’ health outcomes and benefit patients greatly. Preventing pressure ulcers also reflects the high-quality healthcare that we deliver to our patients.
“Pressure ulcers, also called bedsores, are defined as damage and injuries to skin layers and subcutaneous tissue, and especially skin that covers bony areas of the body, resulting from friction and prolonged pressure on the skin,” Dr. Al-Feki said
“Bedsores are a common health issue around the world and can cause pain and severe complications for patients. Patients who stay in their beds for treatment for prolonged periods of time and those who are unable to move due to paraplegia or quadriplegia can suffer from pressure ulcers.
Bedsores often appear in the lower back, back vertebrae, and bony areas such as the elbows, heels, fingertips, and the buttocks. The severity of bedsores can vary from superficial to severe, which is characterized by complete damage to the skin and the tissue surrounding it in the affected areas and muscle damage. Severe pressure ulcers can even reach the bones in some cases.
Dr. Al-Feki explained that pressure ulcers occur as a result of pressure of the body weighed on the affected parts, which reduces the blood flow to the tissue and leads to injuries to the skin. Pressure ulcers can also affect patients who sit in wheelchairs for long time, as well as bedbound patients who are put on ventilators or parenteral nutrition for prolonged periods of time.
Dr. Al-Feki said that best ways to prevent bedsores include changing the patient's position on the bed constantly and ensuring the patient is lying on the bed in a comfortable position, and if possible, moving the patient out of the room in a wheelchair from time to time.
“It is also important to regularly inspect the patient’s skin and start treatment immediately if bedsores are detected. Medical and nursing teams also need to pay attention to the importance of early detection of bedsores in patients to improve treatment outcomes,” he said. “Care teams can also use air mattress or comfortable seats for patients at risk of developing bedsores. Wound dressings, creams, and ointments are also used to treat patients with pressure ulcers.”
Dr. Al-Feki said that there are several treatments for bedsores.
“Treatments for bedsores include specialized treatments for the skin and antibiotics, in addition to therapeutic diet to include meals that are rich in nutrients that promote wound healing,” he said. “In cases where surgical intervention is performed to treat pressure ulcers, it is very important to follow the correct ways to treat wounds after surgery and to ensure that wounds are continuously taken care of by specialized medical and nursing staff until they recover fully.”
Ms. Afaf Al-Sayed Abdul Salam, Head of the Wound Care Nursing Team at HGH, said that the events that were organized at HGH and HMGH to mark the World Pressure Injury Prevention Day included three specialized workshops in each of the two hospitals. The workshop targeted nursing staff to familiarize them with the latest methods of early detection and diagnosis of bedsores, treatment practices, and the best methods for treating wounds that result from bedsores.
Ms. Afaf said that a poster competition was organized for nursing staff to select the best poster on nursing protocols for the prevention of pressure ulcers and treatment practices. The winning nursing teams were honored during the celebration activities.