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Nurses lead the way in pressure injury prevention

District’s dedication to pressure injury prevention recognised through awards.

Group of people standing together; person in front holding a framed certificate
SydneyConnect Image: Balmain Hosptial Wakefield Ward nurses

Congratulations to the winners of Sydney Local Health District’s annual Pressure Injury Prevention Excellence Awards, recognising outstanding care and significant improvements and dedication by nursing staff.

Pressure injuries, commonly known as bed sores, are a result of being bedridden or unable to move for long periods of time and can occur in hospital settings in patients who have significant mobility difficulties.

“When you have a pressure injury, you can’t walk around your own house, pick up anything, pat the dog, barely go to the toilet or turn over in bed – and you aren’t enjoying your own life,” Ivanka Komusanac, District’s Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery, said.

“When you think about the people who get a pressure injury, who are often older people, we would prefer to avoid terrible wounds that could be prevented.”

An annual Point Prevalence Pressure Injury Audit took place in clinical areas across the District to measure the success of their wards.

Audit areas included patient risk screening on arrival to the unit, the implementation of appropriate pressure injury prevention plans for their patients, and ensuring continued education is provided to patients and their families.

Since the introduction of improved policy approaches in 2016, District nursing staff have consistently maintained lower rates of injuries compared to state, national and international reported averages.

The District’s point prevalence score, or rate of incidence, for pressure injuries is 1.3 per cent compared with 2.5 per cent for NSW, and hospital acquired complications reported per 10,000 episodes of care, or number of days spent in hospital, is 2.2 per cent compared with 4.9 for the State.

To hand out the awards, Ivanka was joined by Dr Michelle Barakat-Johnson, District Skin Integrity Lead Nurse Manager, as well as the Directors of Nursing at each of the four District hospitals.

District skin integrity leads were acknowledged for their leadership and dedication.

“Thank you to Apryl Repole, Natalie Ko, Cathie Cincotta, Judy McGlynn, Penelope Abouharb, Darren Del La Rosa, and Phillip Baharudin who do a lot of hard work in the background to keep the incidence and prevalence consistently low,” Ivanka said.

She also thanked the industry partners Molnlycke, 3M, and Independent Living Specialists who work with nursing staff to provide the best care for patients.

“The relationship has really evolved over the last few years. We really get to know our industry partners and having that close relationship can improve patient care and research.

“They are very much a part of our patient journey in wound care management.”

Hospital wards noted for improvements in overall acquisition of pressure injuries and consistency and outstanding care in pressure injury prevention and management:

  1. Balmain: Wakefield Ward
  2. RPA: Cardiothoracic ICU, Green ICU, 10W1 Geriatric Medicine, 10W2 Palliative Care and Geriatric Medicine
  3. Canterbury: Boronia Ward
  4. Concord: ICU and the Burns Unit

Individual prizes were also awarded to recognise staff who have a high level of knowledge in pressure injury prevention strategies, injury prevention strategies, aetiology, staging and management:

  1. Balmain: Shelby Doan, Registered Nurse
  2. RPA: Rebecca Hill, Senior Registered Nurse, Dermatology
  3. Canterbury: Ferliza Resty, Registered Nurse, Acacia Ward
  4. Concord: Megan Chen, Registered Nurse, Cardiovascular Ward