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Heel Pressure Ulcers | Prevalence in Institutional Settings



Data from the International Pressure Ulcer Prevalence Survey™ suggests that overall pressure ulcer prevalence rates were lower in the United States in 2009 than in the previous three years.


In 2009, the overall prevalence rate was 12.3 percent, while the rate for facility-acquired pressure ulcers was 5 percent (compared with 13.5 percent and 6 percent in 2008).


The incidence of heel pressure ulcers was at 28 percent of all pressure ulcers. This makes heel pressure sores the second most prevalent type of pressure ulcer. Only pressure ulcers on the sacrum were found at a higher incidence (30.6 percent of all pressure sores).


The survey data also suggests that heel pressure ulcers were among the most prevalent severe stage IV pressure ulcers at 38.5 percent, second only to pressures sores on the sacrum (39.9%).


While the apparent reduction in overall pressure ulcer prevalence rates can be viewed as good news, other data from the survey was less heartening. For instance, overall prevalence rates in long-term acute care facilities, reported at 22 percent in 2008 and 2009, are still quite high.


Survey results like that, combined with the staggering expense of treating pressure ulcers, continue to motivate wound care specialists and other healthcare professionals to seek better prevention methods.


A separate five-year trend analysis at a two-hospital system in Florida clearly demonstrates that active facility prevention reduces the incidence of heel pressure ulcers. Effective facility prevention programs are comprised of:

• Active administrative support
• Well designed nursing protocols
• Disciplined admission skin assessments
• Patient risk designations
• Nursing interventions
• Effective heel offloading devices

Heelift® Suspension Boot is an effective, professional heel offloading device that floats the heel and provides useful patient comfort features. Heelift also reduces the risk of developing heel cord contracture, hip rotation, foot drop and Achilles tendonitis.


Click here to learn more about how the reduction of heel pressure ulcers can save facilities money.


And then contact us to learn how Heelift can help prevent and reduce heel pressure ulcers at your facility.

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