The Press Association have reported on a parliamentary question tabled by Lib Dem MP Paul Burstow which looks at the numbers of patients where pressure sores were reported as at least a contributory factor. These wounds are sometimes implicated in significant bacteraemic events, including MRSA. Hansard records show that there are in excess of 900 cases annually, with the North-West of England having the highest number of cases in all but one of the reported years. Surely it is about time that these preventable events were tackled head-on. Bed sores are avoidable and many would feel that they are a significant measure of quality of care. The numbers of deaths are surely only the tip of the iceberg, however there is no data on the exact size of the problem exists.
Preventing these events makes sense in terms of reducing morbidity and mortality, economic sense in reducing nursing time taken performing dressing changes and the dressing materials themselves and ecological sense as many of these wounds may be treated with antibiotics, leading to increasing resistance.
There is evidence that the media are now latching onto this issue and raising the profile of Tissue Viability and Wound Care can only be a good thing.