React to Red!
How long do you think it takes for a pressure ulcer to develop...?
48hrs? A week?
From current research we now know it can take just 20 minutes for the depth of tissue under the skin from excess pressure or shear to rapidly deteriorate.
It is therefore vital that staff understand how to identify early damage so immediate actions can be taken… Check out the ‘blanching/non blanching technique below to test if a discoloured area over a boney area is a category 1 pressure ulcer.
If you see a red area over a boney area of the body such as heels of hip, press with your thumb for 5 seconds, when released if it blanches (goes white to red) then it is not a pressure ulcer, if it remains red then turn off that area immediately!
for non blanching area ‘OFFLOAD AND ALERT’!
Note: Darkly pigmented skin does not blanch. Signs to look for in early tissue damage include purple discolouration, skin feeling too warm or cold, numbness, swelling, hardness or pain
If you need clinical advice feel free to contact me here at OSKA™.