Whether you have endured a pressure wound yourself, or have felt helpless watching the agony of a loved one, you have suffered. Hundreds of you have sent messages to the National Decubitus Foundation (NDF) in the past year asking for information. A theme that runs through all of these messages is complete amazement that such a thing could happen.
Hospitals do not advise incoming patients that one in ten of those in the hospital is suffering with bedsores. They do not point out that if you are in your seventies or older, your chances of developing a hospital-caused wound may be as great as one in five. There is no information provided concerning the devastating nature of the bedsore, the fact that the wound can quickly penetrate through skin, fat and muscle to the bone, often leading to death. No one is advised that bedsores are a common site of hospital-transmitted infections, and that often such infections are completely resistant to available antibiotics. And they certainly do not advise patients that specialized support surfaces, able to avoid capillary closure that leads to bedsores, are available.
The Education Program of the National Decubitus Foundation is aimed at correcting these omissions. Publications, posters, advertisements, and publicity are all means to carry out this goal. Our efforts at education also have the goal of convincing Congress and Medicare that denying funding for available specialized support surfaces is false economy. NDF studies have demonstrated that risk assessment of all admitted patients followed by provision of specialized support surfaces fo all those at risk can reduce bedsore incidence dramatically.