Pressure injuries – also called bedsores – are
common among patients with limited mobility who
spend a lot of time sitting or lying down. The
injuries most often occur on skin covering the
back, shoulder blade and tailbone, and cause
great discomfort and pain to patients.
“We see a lot of elderly patients with pressure
injuries that could have been prevented with early
intervention. By the time they come to us, the
condition is often at a late stage, so the treatment
applied has to be much more intensive and this
causes a lot of discomfort to the patients,” says
Ms Png Gek Kheng, Assistant Director of Nursing
who started the Pressure Injury Taskforce at
Changi General Hospital (CGH) in 2015.
The taskforce consisted of geriatricians, nurses,
occupational therapists, dietitians and staff from
the Performance Management and Office of
Improvement Science. Together, they worked to
develop strategies to prevent pressure injuries,
manage and treat symptoms and suggest
long-term care tips. The strategies were based on
the latest guidelines by the National Pressure Ulcer
The team also developed a three-tier curriculum,
unique to CGH, to train nurses to become
Pressure Injury Care champions. To date, 200
nurses have undergone the training.
Nurse Clinician Stacey Chong, Accident &
Emergency Department who is part of the team,
shared that the Department has seen a growing
number of elderly patients over the years.
“There is an increasing need to train nurses in
wound care management and look into ways to
prevent pressure injuries during patients’ stay in the
A&E. Preventing and treating pressure injuries is an
inter-departmental effort,” she says.
As a result of the taskforce’s efforts, CGH has seen
an increase in the early identification and
management of pressure injuries. Between June
2015 to January 2018, the incidence of
hospital-acquired pressure injuries fell from 1.40
per 1000 patient days (PDS) to 0.18 per PDS.
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