August 22, 2022
The latest Aotearoa New Zealand (ANZ) ‘pressure injury in spinal cord injury: consensus statement’ reports a comprehensive insight into pressure injuries that affect spinal cord injury (SCI) patients.
In New Zealand, there are just over 200 new SCIs each year, an average of 4 every week. A 2020 study found the incidence of traumatic SCI in ANZ is increasing, particularly in old adults, Māori and Pasifika.
The consensus statement includes important principles for preventing, identifying, treating and managing pressure injuries/ulcers (PI/U) for patients with spinal cord injuries. Amongst the identification principles, it is recommended using a sub-epidermal moisture (SEM) scanner to make an assessment of localised oedema. They recommend this, especially when skin colour makes visual identification difficult.
This assessment using a SEM assessment device can assist in identifying a potential PI/U up to 5* days earlier than standard assessment practices (Okonkwo H et al., 2020).
To read the full consensus statement, please find it here.