The aim was to investigate the effect of an early intervention, a heel suspension device boot, on the incidence of heel pressure ulcers among older patients (aged 70 +).
Pressure ulcers are a global healthcare issue; furthermore, the heel is an exposed location. Research indicates that preventive nursing interventions starting during the ambulance care and used across the acute care delivery chain are seldom used.
A multi-centre randomized control study design was used. Five ambulance stations, two emergency departments and 16 wards at two Swedish hospitals participated. Altogether, 183 patients were transferred by ambulance to the emergency department and were thereafter admitted to one of the participating wards.
Significantly fewer patients in the intervention group (n=15 of 103; 14.6%) than the control group (n=24 of 80; 30%) developed heel pressure ulcers during their hospital stay (p=0.017).
Pressure ulcer prevention should start early in the acute care delivery chain to increase patient safety.