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White Papers

White papers surrounding the use of offloading boots for the treatment and prevention of heel pressure ulcers

Microclimate is becoming an increasingly important consideration in the prevention and treatment of heel pressure ulcers. This white paper begins with a clear definition of micrclimate and then goes on to explain why heat and moisture can contribute to skin breakdown in patients at risk for heel pressure ulcers. The ramifications of incorporating microclimate factors into a heel pressure ulcer prevention regiment are discussed last, including a summary of recent test results proving that heel offloading devices like Heelift Glide, with an open cell foam design, are better at releasing heat and moisture than other types of professional offloading devices.

In a recent study by the North Carolina State University College of Textiles, heel offloading boots made of different kinds of materials were tested for microclimate performance. In the study, open cell foam like that used in Heelift Brand Boots performed the best.

In 2008, heel pressure ulcers were categorized as “never events.” More recent search indicates, however, that facilities ultimately may have little control over the prevalence of heel pressure ulcers. While due diligence is non-negotiable, co-morbidities, microclimate, and end-of-life skin failure can all lead to heel pressure ulcers that will develop no matter what the facility does to prevent them. In this white paper, we explore why the categorization of heel pressure ulcers as “never” events may be unfair and how facilities can strive for seldom and hope for never.”

In far too many cases, a patient with a Stage III or IV heel pressure ulcer is left with no other option apart from amputation. This white paper describes how an integrated, multidisciplinary approach, together with Heelift Suspension Boot, prevented lower limb amputation in one patient who had a severe heel pressure ulcer.

This white paper outlines the different facets that a heel pressure ulcer protocol incorporates. Included is information on assessment of skin for patients who have or who are at risk for heel pressure ulcers, heel pressure ulcer prevention, and how to choose the proper heel offloading device.

The National Quality Forum, together with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, categorized Heel Pressure Ulcers (HPUs) as “never events” in 2008. Five years later, a “perfect storm” of obstacles has evolved that makes preventing hospital-acquired pressure ulcers more difficult. These obstacles include documented nurse shortages, newly discovered complexities about why patients develop pressure ulcers, and a rising number of elderly patients who are at risk for developing heel pressure ulcers.

In the face of these challenges, how can heel pressure ulcer prevalence decrease?

This white paper summarizes the challenges that facilities are facing in regards to lowering heel pressure ulcer prevalence. It also details how a multidisciplinary approach (together with an effective heel offloading device) can come together to beat the “perfect storm” of obstacles that currently hinder efforts to prevent heel pressure ulcers.

The prevalence of heel pressure ulcers and costs for health care facilities to treat this preventable condition continue to be high. Ineffective protocols, coupled with the use of ineffective offloading devices, such as the patient pillow, are major contributing factors to the costly care and common occurrence of HPUs.

A solution to the issues of prevalence and cost to facilities in treating HPUs is explored in this WoundSource white paper. The use of a professional offloading device, combined with an integrated multidisciplinary team approach and defined heel pressure ulcer protocol are offered as a facility plan to lower HPU occurrence and cost to treat and discharge patients.

A mathematical approach to determining the savings impact of a professional offloading device being used in your facility is presented.