Reducing Orthotic-related Pressure Injuries

Published on in CHOP News

Smiley face iconReduce Suffering
Stylized child iconImprove Outcomes
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Why is this important?

When young children leave the Operating Room (OR) with an orthotic device such as a brace, cervical collar, or cast, they are at risk for a hospital-acquired pressure injury (HAPI), which is a localized injury to the skin and/or underlying tissue usually over a bony prominence, or under a medical device due to pressure.​ They can occur from inappropriate padding or rotation of the device. Pressure injuries are painful, harmful to children, and require additional medical care that may increase cost. 

What we did

A team of skin champions wanted to reduce HAPI’s caused by orthotic devices. They wanted to assure that all children had an established schedule for skin assessment, skin care, appropriate sleep surface, and minimized pressure points due to use and misuse of orthotic devices. The team was educated about the importance of documentation and other best practices. Information about importance of skin assessments and devices was included in each unit on a daily basis.

Summary of results

The rate of orthotic-related HAPI has decreased by 50 percent.

Graph: HAPI orthotics injury rate per 1000 patient days

Updated May, 2020


Next Steps

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