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Keywords:

  • pressure ulcers;
  • classification and risk assessment;
  • nursing documentation;
  • hip fractures

The aims of the study were to investigate, on a daily basis: (i] the development and progress of pressure ulcers, (ii) the documented nursing interventions for prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers, and (iii) when nursing interventions regarding prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers were documented, in relation to patient risk status and the development of pressure ulcers. The study design was prospective, comparative and descriptive. A total of 55 patients with hip fracture were included. To facilitate the nurse's assessment, a ‘pressure ulcer card’ was developed, consisting of the Modified Norton Scale (MNS) and descriptions of the four stages of pressure ulcers. The incidence of pressure ulcers was 55%. The mean rank of the lowest MNS score was significantly lower for patients who developed pressure ulcers than for patients without pressure ulcers. The majority of the pressure ulcers occurred between admission to the ward and the fourth day after surgery. Documented interventions regarding prevention and treatment were: repositioning, overlays, cushions, use of lotion and observation. The mean number of interventions per patient was 2·2 for patients who developed pressure ulcers during their hospital stay. The comprehensiveness and quality of the nursing record was unsatisfactory, and only three nursing records reached the level required by Swedish law. Preventive interventions such as repositioning were documented when the pressure ulcer had already occurred. The lack of nursing documentation regarding prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers may indicate that nurses did not identify pressure ulcers as a prioritized nursing problem for this patient group. The Modified Norton Scale could be a valuable tool for nurses, both identifying the patient at risk and acting as a guide for nursing interventions. The study was approved by the ethics committee of the Faculty of Medicine at Uppsala University.