Natural Sciences

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Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing

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Our understanding of pressure injury etiology and development has grown in recent years through research, clinical expertise, and global interdisciplinary expert collaboration. Therefore, the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) has revised the definition and stages of pressure injury. The revision was undertaken to incorporate the current understanding of the etiology of pressure injuries, as well as to clarify the anatomical features present or absent in each stage of injury. An NPUAP-appointed Task Force reviewed the literature and created drafts of definitions, which were then reviewed by stakeholders and the public, including clinicians, educators, and researchers around the world. Using a consensus-building methodology, these revised definitions were the focus of a multidisciplinary consensus conference held in April 2016. As a result of stakeholder and public input, along with the consensus conference, important changes were made and incorporated into the new staging definitions. The revised staging system uses the term injury instead of ulcer and denotes stages using Arabic numerals rather than Roman numerals. The revised definition of a pressure injury now describes the injuries as usually occurring over a bony prominence or under a medical or other device. The revised definition of a Stage 2 pressure injury seeks to clarify the difference between moisture-associated skin damage and injury caused by pressure and/or shear. The term suspected has been removed from the Deep Tissue Pressure Injury diagnostic label. Each definition now describes the extent of tissue loss present and the anatomical features that may or may not be present in the stage of injury. These important revisions reflect the methodical and collaborative approach used to examine the available evidence and incorporate current interdisciplinary clinical expertise into better defining the important phenomenon of pressure injury etiology and development.


deep tissue pressure injury, shear, pressure injury, pressure, pressure ulcer, stage 1-4, staging system




© 2016 Edsberg et. al.

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