Ask the care expert ... about pressure ulcer prevalence

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Sherrie Dornberger, RNC, CDONA, FACDONA, executive director, NADONA
Sherrie Dornberger, RNC, CDONA, FACDONA, executive director, NADONA

I am a new charge nurse. My DON wants me to calculate the prevalence of pressure ulcers. Is there an easy way to do this?

According to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, the definition of prevalence is to describe the number of residents in a specific population or, in your case, on a specific unit, during a specified time.

Think about whether you are talking about including ALL of the pressure ulcers on your floor, or just all of the Stage 3's or Stage 4's. There are two ways to get the answer that you need.

For Point Prevalence, take the number of residents with a pressure ulcer (or with a certain stage of pressure ulcer) and multiply it by 100. Then divide this number by your total census on your floor/wing. This will give you the snapshot on a particular day.

Period Prevalence is measured over a time period. For this calculation you will need the average length of stay for your unit. Many clinicians use the number 60, for 60 days is the average stay. Again, use the number of residents with a pressure ulcer times 100. Then divide this number by the number of residents during a time period.

Correction

I apologize for the error in one of my last columns. Checking for all new admissions on the national sex offenders' website is not required in every state at this time.  But for those of you who asked for a suggested website to check either employees or new possible admissions, one good site is The Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Website (http://tinyurl.com/ap6e5x). 

It is a public website managed by the U.S. Department of Justice. The information provided through this site is open record, and it may be used by anyone for any purpose. Not all sex offenders will be listed.



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