Older Patients Prone to Skin Tears

Patients 65 and older account for 88 percent of all skin tears, according to a study of 2,807 patients by the Patient Safety Authority of Pennsylvania.

Skin tears increase with age; the largest proportion of skin tears concern patients ages 75 to 84.

Some patient characteristics that make a patient's skin more fragile and susceptible to tears include: advanced age, malnourishment, vision/sensation/hearing loss, mental impairment, immobility, dry skin, agitation or restlessness.

The Patient Safety Authority will issue a Skin Tears Toolkit to advise health care workers and caregivers on changes that can prevent these injuries from occurring.

For a full copy of the report, visit www.psa.state.pa.us.

This article originally appeared in the October 2006 issue of HME Business.

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