Detecting Early Skin Changes in Dark Skin Tones: NPIAP Pre-Conference Workshop

Pressure injury (PI) assessment is an essential aspect of healthcare, but it can be challenging for patients with dark skin tones. The limitations of visual assessment create a significant barrier to health equity, which is why a pre-conference workshop at the NPIAP 2023 Annual Conference will examine this issue and explore detection methods for skin changes.

What: The pre-conference workshop will be focused on equity in prevention and treatment of PI and will examine the methods available to detect skin changes due to pressure in persons with dark skin tones. 

When: 3/16/2023 @ 12:30 PM (PT)

Where: Marriott Marquis, San Diego, CA

The 2019 Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers/Injuries: Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) recommends that when assessing darkly pigmented skin, consider assessment of skin temperature and sub-epidermal moisture as important adjunct assessment strategies.

Additionally, new evidence-based practices were released in the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) Preventing PI guidelines. It states, “consider skin tone variances when assessing patients’ skin for signs of pressure injury after surgery. Patients with darkly pigmented skin should be assessed by checking the patient’s skin temperature, and the presence of edema, induration, and pain. (abbr.)”

The NPIAP’s educational project, “Deep Tissue Pressure Injury or an Imposter“, offers further information on pressure injury assessment. The guide also includes the differential diagnoses (imposters) of ischemic and traumatic injury that can mimic DTPI. 

By examining assessment methods for skin changes, we can work towards overcoming the challenges of PI assessment for patients with dark skin tones and improving health equity for all.

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