Firm News

Anderson Rasor Attorneys attend Decubitus Ulcers Conference
03/2/2010

On February 25, attorneys Anne Nelson and Elizabeth Connolly participated in a consensus conference that addressed whether decubitus ulcers are  preventable in various health care settings, including long-term health facilities, operating rooms, emergency departments, critical care units, and the home health environment.  The conference was held by the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP), a non-profit organization comprised of health care providers from a number of disciplines, including medicine, nursing, physical therapy, and dietary services.   The panelists present during this conference included wound care specialists from around the world, including William Ennis, M.D., from the Association for the Advancement of Wound Care, Steven Levinson, M.D., from the American Medical Directors Assocation, and Joyce Black, RN.   NPUAP has published guidelines and position statements relative to the prevention and care of decubitus ulcers.  The Department of Health and Human Services utilized these guidelines during the process of establishing decubitus ulcers as "never"events in hospitals.   (See the May 3, 2007 edition of the Federal Register). 

Members of the audience were invited to offer input about their experience and research regarding  the prevention of decubitus ulcers.  The audience included several published experts in the field of wound care, including Barbara Braden, who formulated  the Braden Scale, Karen Kennedy, a nurse practitioner who has written extensively regarding ulcers that occur in terminal patients (now termed "Kennedy" ulcers).  After several hours of discussion between the panel and the audience, the panel reached several consensus statements.  One such statement was that decubitus ulcers are unavoidable in certain clinical situations.  The panel also acknowledged that there can be situations where turning a patient every two hours is not feasible.  NPUAP will publish  all of the consensus statements established during this conference in the near future.   If you have any questions regarding this conference, please contact Anne Nelson or Elizabeth Connolly.