Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Filling the Pressure Injury Gaps in Awake-Proned Patients

When COVID-19 hit the scene with a vengeance, healthcare workers were confronted with numerous challenges.

It was a new virus presenting differently from person to person. While some patients required intubation right off the bat, others showed clear signs of hypoxia (low oxygen) without any indication of respiratory distress. They weren’t your typical ARDS patients. But, with limited knowledge on this novel virus, many patients were placed on ventilators early, sealing the deal on equipment shortages, nationwide. 

But, what if there was another option? 

Early proning of awake, non-intubated patients entering through the ED, quickly gained traction in facilities with large numbers of COVID patients. Those who could self-prone were asked to do so. Lying in the prone position (flat on the stomach) improved oxygenation often delaying or in some cases eliminating the need for invasive intubation. 

While awake-proning studies are still in their infancy, preliminary results have been promising. But what these studies have not addressed is the skin. Creative measures solved one problem but produced another. 

Protecting the Skin

Patients lying in the prone position for prolonged periods of time may be putting their skin at risk. And with facilities reaching capacity, the likelihood of patients remaining in the ED longer is great. Finding a balance between the potential life-saving methods of awake-proning and preserving skin integrity is crucial. 

The good news? Our support surfaces specially designed for pressure injury management are available to fill the void. Patients requiring prone positioning remain protected and enjoy an extra level of comfort. Heat and moisture are addressed in accordance with the patient’s individual care plan. And, the surface can accompany the patient throughout their hospital/home journey. 

EHOB can help you find the ideal surface solution to best meet the patient’s needs – because matching the patient to the product is always the best course of action. Browse our Support Surfaces