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Patient Positioning Sensor Protects against Pressure Sores

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 25 Sep 2018
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Image: The adhesive sensor indicates if a patient needs to be turned (Photo courtesy of Leaf Healthcare).
Image: The adhesive sensor indicates if a patient needs to be turned (Photo courtesy of Leaf Healthcare).
An enhanced wireless patient sensor enables nurses at the point of care (POC) to confirm the patient turn they just completed adequately protects against pressure injuries.

The Leaf Healthcare (Pleasanton, CA, USA) Patient Monitoring System (PMS) is based on a wireless sensor designed to continuously monitor activity and position in order to identify patients that can benefit from repositioning. The PMS tracks patient movement and activity in bed-bound, chair-bound, and ambulatory patients, and notifies staff when a patient needs to be turned, thus improving patient mobility, reducing pressure injury rates, helping nurses prioritize care and improve unit workflow, and saving hospitals non-reimbursed costs associated with the treatment of pressure injuries.

The enhanced patient sensor now includes an onboard indicator that allows caregivers to confirm the patient's status without needing to refer to the external data monitors typically located at ward nursing stations. When a caregiver gently taps the sensor twice, indicator lights momentarily flash to provide real-time turn status. The lights warn nurses when patients require turning and when they are overdue for a turn. A recent anonymous survey of nurses who have used the POC sensor found that more than 83% feel the sensor is "very easy," or "easy" to use.

“Leaf's new sensor increases patient safety and enhances nursing productivity by conveniently providing important information at the point of care, saving nurses the time and steps required to check nursing station monitors,” said Barrett Larson, MD, CEO of Leaf Healthcare. “The sensor's onboard display provides bedside notification whenever a patient needs to be turned and immediate visual confirmation that a patient has been turned with sufficient frequency and quality.”

Pressure ulcers are lesions caused by factors such as unrelieved pressure, friction, humidity, shearing forces, temperature, age, continence, and medication. They can occur in any part of the body, but especially over bony or cartilaginous areas such as the sacrum, elbows, knees, and ankles. Although often prevented and treatable if found early, pressure ulcers can be very difficult to prevent in the frail and elderly, wheelchair users and terminally ill patients.

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