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A pressure ulcer is an injury that affects the underlying tissue and skin and is primarily caused by prolonged pressure on the skin. During a clinical rotation at a small rural teaching hospital, pressure ulcers were prevalent in an estimated 80% of patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) during a three-week period. Approximately $26.8 billion are spent every year in the United States treating pressure ulcers. The purpose of this quality improvement project is to provide staff education to ICU nurses in order to reduce and prevent the prevalence of pressure ulcers in patients. A thorough literature review was completed on 64 studies related to pressure ulcers that focused on causes, effects, costs, education, treatments, and preventative measures. An educational tool was developed that outlines interventions that targeted pressure ulcer prevention.

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Pressure Ulcer Prevention: A Quality Improvement Project



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