Nurses strive to prevent pressure injuries among patients because it is one of the most common wounds a nurse will discover, treat and manage. When a patient is severely decompensated due to injury, illness, malnutrition etc., it can be difficult to prevent pressure injuries. Nurses consider it vital to recognize patients at risk for pressure injuries and have interventions in place for the prevention of pressure injuries. All nursing interventions and actions should be well documented.
Neil Levy (2018) describes a court case involving a patient who was severely wounded and in critical condition. The patient developed many pressure injuries while in hospital and he subsequently died.
A board-certified internist (for the defendant) testified that pressure injuries were bound to happen in this case, due to his unstable condition and impaired organ function. However, a clinical nurse expert witness (for the plaintiff) discovered that there was insufficient documentation on any interventions or assessments done to prevent pressure injuries. Due to the lack of documentation, it was determined that the nurses caring for this patient had not done their job to prevent pressure injuries, therefore, falling below the standard of care.
Neil Levy gives other examples of court cases involving pressure injuries, and also describes pressure injuries and their varying stages.
Levy N. (2018). Legal Issues… Pressure Injuries. CINAHL Nursing Guide, Jan 12. AN T705371.