Using the SSKIN care bundle to prevent pressure ulcers in the intensive care unit
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Using the SSKIN care bundle to prevent pressure ulcers in the intensive care unit

Julie Santy-Tomlinson Freelance Writer and Educator, Brough, England
Emma Limbert Staff Nurse, Intensive care unit, Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Hull, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand the common causes of pressure ulcers in patients in intensive care units

  • To familiarise yourself with risk assessment tools for pressure ulcers

  • To learn about a five-step care bundle that can assist in preventing pressure ulcers

Pressure ulcers develop when the skin and underlying tissues are subjected to pressure, friction and/or shear, and, in many cases, moisture. These factors lead to impaired blood supply and injury to the skin and underlying tissues. Patients being cared for in intensive care units are particularly at risk of pressure ulcers because they often lack the ability to change position independently. Also, their consciousness and sensory perception are impaired due to sedation and anaesthesia, diminished circulation and malnutrition. This article examines pressure ulcer prevention in this vulnerable group of patients and outlines the five-step SSKIN (surface, skin inspection, kinetics/keep moving, incontinence/moisture, nutrition/hydration) pressure ulcer prevention care bundle.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11536

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Santy-Tomlinson J, Limbert E (2020) Using the SSKIN care bundle to prevent pressure ulcers in the intensive care unit. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11536

Published online: 24 August 2020

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