Herzog’s specialized Pressure Sore Unit is the only one of its kind in the country.
Pressure sores constitute a serious, common health problem for the bedridden elderly, both in general hospitals, in long term care facilities and in home care treatment. The rise in life expectancy and the advances in medical technology that have allowed surgery and other invasive procedures to be carried out on patients at a more advanced age, have led to a doubling of the incidence of pressure sores, due to both the longer survival and increased vulnerability of patients at risk to sores. This vulnerability is due to the combination of multiple pathological diseases in the elderly and the normal physiological processes of aging.
A pressure sore (pressure ulcer) is defined as damage to the integrity of the skin, as a result of ischemia and necrosis in the underlying tissues, due to continued pressure and external shearing forces that cause compression of the tissues.
Pressure sores are an expression of underlying serious medical conditions, so that it is not only the pressure sores themselves which demand our attention but also these underlying conditions.
The Pressure Sores Unit comprises 21 beds in 7 in-patient rooms. Patients are referred to the unit from medical facilities throughout the country, and their treatment is funded, in general, by the major Health Funds.
The multi-disciplinary team includes geriatric doctors, skilled nurses, aides, occupational therapist, dietician, speech therapist and social worker.
On admission to the Unit, the patient undergoes comprehensive assessment by physician, nurse, dietician, occupational therapy and social worker .The interdisciplinary team suggests a plan which is then reported and discussed during the weekly staff meetings, for the first month, and subsequently once a month.
The Pressure Sores Unit is not only a separate territory unit within the hospital, but also has a permanent multidisciplinary staff specializing in the treatment of pressure sores. The importance of the unit derives from its comprehensive geriatric treatment approach, and the focus of the treatment on pressure sores.
The comprehensive approach to treating pressure sores in the elderly patient requires reorganization of the treatment which is not confined to localized treatment only, but covers all the co-morbidity and disability accompanying the aging process.