Sore points

August 13, 1999

Claire Hale states ("Cutting Edge", THES, July 9 ) in reference to pressure-sore assessment tools "our research has considerable implications for practice and education alike".

The cause of pressure sores is quite simply unrelieved pressure that results in vascular occlusion and tissue death. The direct cause in hospitals is nursing neglect - if you accept that one of a nurse's functions is to do for patients what they cannot do for themselves, in this case to relieve pressure with sufficient adequacy and frequency.

Potential vulnerability to pressure sores is easily assessed without recourse to measuring instruments. Likewise, prevention is simple - a clean, dry bed or chair and a change of position every two hours, day and night. Nurses need training in basic care, not in the use of risk-assessment instruments.

As a nurse for more than 40 years with nearly 30 years in academe, I despair at the obfuscation that is wrought in the name of nursing research. Tony Hussey Supervisor, health sciences Higher Colleges of Technology Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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