Pressure injury prevention for critically ill adults

Published: 2014. Next review: 2023.

The scope of this guideline is prevention of pressure injury in critically ill patients and does not include treatment of pressure injuries.

This guideline is for clinicians who care for critically ill adults across acute care hospitals in NSW. Specifically, it refers to nursing staff as this clinical practice falls within their scope of practice.

Download the guideline (PDF 4.7 MB)
Identify, assess and intervene to reduce the incidence of pressure injuries in critically ill adults.

Download poster (PDF 894.7 KB)
A summary of assessment, risk factors, surface support and repositioning.

Pressure injury prevention for critically ill adults

At a glance

The critically ill adult patient is at increased risk of developing painful pressure injuries.

Pressure injuries:

  • significantly impact health-related quality of life for patients
  • increase length of stay and contribute to increased healthcare costs
  • are preventable.

A multidisciplinary approach is required to identify and prevent pressure injuries, from both intrinsic and extrinsic causes. Predicting and preventing pressure injury will improve the quality of care and reduce the financial impact on the healthcare system.

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