Defining Practices to Avoid Hospital-Acquired Pressure Injuries in the Operating Room

Sue Creehan, Joyce Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality indicate that hospital-acquired pressure injuries (HAPIs) and surgical site infections are the only 2 hospital-acquired conditions that have not improved. Consequently, health systems around the nation are struggling to lower HAPI rates and avoid penalties. All patient care areas of the hospital play a part in pressure injury (PI) development. Analysis of real-time PI data and completion of root cause analysis related to HAPIs can guide organizational leaders to specific clinical areas in need of improvement. Surgical patients are high risk for development of a PI due to their unique vulnerability from multiple transfers and induced immobility. Operating room (OR) nursing organizations and wound care professional organizations have published evidence-based clinical practice guidelines addressing prevention of PIs in the OR. CASES: This article discusses 2 surgical patients from 2 different academic medical centers who experienced OR-associated HAPIs. Operating room HAPI prevention measures should include current evidence-based practice recommendations. Each hospital should take a critical look at their OR HAPI prevention procedures and measure them against the current published guidelines, changing and updating them to reflect best practices for avoiding PI development. Clinicians from both the OR and WOC nurse team can provide expertise to develop confluent nursing practice standards for OR-associated HAPI reduction. CONCLUSION: This article highlights the commonalities found in the guidelines and encourages collaboration between WOC nurses and OR nurses in building and implementing pressure injury prevention practices associated with the OR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-96
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • HAPI prevention
  • Operating room pressure injuries
  • Pressure injuries
  • Pressure injury prevention
  • Pressure injury prevention guidelines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medical–Surgical
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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