'Team' pressure ulcer care lauded in NYT spread

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Nursing homes' pressure ulcer treatment protocols took the spotlight Tuesday in a prominent New York Times article.

Recent research suggests that involving nurses, nutritionists, and even laundry and maintenance workers, can help lower pressure ulcer incidence, severity and care costs, the Times reported.

"It's not as if one person can get it all done. And if it fails just a little bit, just during the weekends, for instance, you're not going to get the results. It takes tremendous consistency," said Jeff West, a clinical specialist with Qualis Health in Seattle, which engineered a multi-facility project that slashed pressure ulcer damages in 2003.

Immobility, incontinence, dehydration and poor nutrition are among the top causes behind Americans' two million pressure ulcers each year, experts say. Various states, including New York, New Jersey and California, are currently undergoing pressure-ulcer reduction programs, the report said.