Pressure Injuries in Persons with Dark Skin Tones from the National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel

The NPIAP Publishes State of the Science Paper on Pressure Injury in Persons with Dark Skin Tones

Pressure injury (PI) detection in patients with dark skin tones is challenging due to visual assessment limitations. The study emphasizes the racial disparities in PI development and healing for those with dark skin tones and underscores the need for standardized assessment methods, as visual inspection methods are unreliable.

The NPIAP convened earlier this year around the topic of health equity in assessing pressure injuries in persons with dark skin tones. Because skin pigmentation presents challenges when relying on visual skin assessment, patients with darkly pigmented skin face an increased risk of pressure injury development.

This article seeks to shine light on the following topics as it relates to skin tone:

    1. Historical perspectives of PI staging from the NPIAP
    2. Epidemiology of PI
    3. Anatomy and physiology of the skin
    4. Skin tone assessment and measurement
    5. Augmented visual assessment modalities
    6. PI prevention
    7. Pressure Injury healing
    8. Social determinants of health
    9. Gaps in clinician education.

This is a timely study as The Joint Commission recently created a new National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) to help prioritize and operationalize health equity to increase the focus on improving health care equity as a quality and safety priority.

WoundVision is committed to supporting healthcare organizations who seek to improve health equity in the field of pressure injury prevention and wound care. One benefit of WoundVision’s long-wave infrared technology is that skin pigmentation doesn’t affect thermal emissivity when measuring skin temperature. This helps clinicians enhance their documentation and overcome the age-old challenge of assessing darkly pigmented skin.

Click here to read the NPIAP State of the Science Paper in Advances in Skin and Wound Care.

Is your organization is looking for a trusted industry partner to help achieve health equity initiatives? Please contact us to learn more about the role advanced imaging and documentation plays in pressure injuries in patients with dark skin tones.

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