Simple Solutions Prevail for Early Pressure Injury Prevention in the Emergency Department

Wait times in the ED can vary based on acuity, capacity and a multitude of other conditions. But the risk to the skin doesn’t stop.

Variety is the spice of life, or so the saying goes. And there is no better place to find a variety of situations than in the Emergency Department. ED staff typically flourish in this frenetic environment, or they wouldn’t be there. Constant change just comes with the territory.  But, even the most seasoned nurses have their limits and when thriving becomes merely surviving, something has to give! ED staff need a lifeline once in a while and the industry needs to step up.

It’s no surprise that Covid-19 has maxed the capacity of Emergency Departments across the country. It’s reported daily. Now factor in the other conditions that haven’t stopped just because the pandemic has taken center stage and the situation becomes that much more dire. But what about issues that lie just below the surface. . . of the skin? 

Patients at a high risk of skin breakdown most likely came to the hospital for another condition. And stretchers aren’t typically noted for their comfort. Wait times in the ED can vary based on acuity, capacity, and a multitude of other conditions. But the risk to the skin doesn’t stop. Now, consider that pressure injuries can form in as little as 2 hours and there is a bigger problem brewing. As patients wait it out in the hallway, the risk for pressure injuries increases. And skin checks may not be a top priority when lives are at stake. Here’s where the industry can help!

The WAFFLE Overlay, specially designed for pressure injury management, is ideal for early intervention and often fits right on the stretcher or gurney. The best course of action is to protect the patients while they wait for beds. Hard stretchers can easily be outfitted with the WAFFLE Overly to help mitigate the impact of skin damage. Those with existing PIs or those just at risk can rest assured that they are protected. And ED staff can take a breath knowing solid pressure injury interventions are in place. Patients are more comfortable while the pressure on their bodies is evenly distributed. Ease the pressure for patients required to wait. 

In an environment fueled on multitasking, the WAFFLE Overly fits right in. It’s durable and mobile enough to stay with the patient yet versatile enough to be used on a variety of surfaces. The WAFFLE Overlay is readily available and doesn’t rely on complicated measures to perform the task at hand. And it’s adaptable enough to protect patients in prone, supine, and side-lying positions. No power required. Multifaceted!  

Let’s face it, being a nurse in 2021 is emotionally taxing and physically exhausting. Times that by 10 when you enter the Emergency Department. Pain and trauma go hand in hand and eventually take a toll on staff whose path in life is to heal. Taking even the smallest pressure of this group of individuals is worth the effort. Click here to partner with the WAFFLE Overlay for sustainable pressure injury prevention strategies. 

https://www.waldenu.edu/online-masters-programs/master-of-science-in-nursing/resource/the-pros-and-cons-of-working-in-an-emergency-room

https://www.healthecareers.com/idsa/article/career/challenges-emergency-medicine-is-facing