Here are some of the questions most frequently asked.
Why do females score ‘2’ and males ‘1’
‘Sex’ was included on the card to take account
of the research findings of Dr M Versluysen in 1986 –
How elderly patients with femoral fractures develop pressure
ulcers in hospital BMJ 292 May 17 pp1311-1313. Subsequent
research by Bale S, Finlay I, Harding K 1995: Pressure ulcer
prevention in a hospice; Journal of Wound Care Nov. Vol.4
No.10 pp465-468 also showed the male/female difference.
My own personal view is that the ‘extra risk’
is due to anatomical differences. It is much more difficult
to keep women clean, dry, and free from the effects of urinary
incontinence. In the case of men external catheters can
keep the groin area dry.
the revised Waterlow scoring system use the Australian malnutrition
screening tool MST, rather than the UK malnutrition universal
screening tool MUST.
MST was chosen by the Australian team which conducted the
5 year research project which looked into, amongst other
things, whether there was a need to update Waterlow as a
consequence of the passing of the years since I designed
the original scoring system. As I participated in the project
and was happy with their findings I revised Waterlow in
the light of those findings. A fuller explanation and the
reason that using MST in Waterlow and MUST to identify a
risk of poor protein-energy status (for which it was designed)
should cause no practical problems can be found by downloading
the following file. Click
Here to download.
Why assess patients/clients
To identify those at risk of developing pressure ulcers
(bedsores) and enable a cost effective plan of care to be
prepared by a trained nurse. This care plan should identify
risk factors, risk status, proposed action and date for
it necessary to document this information?
provide consistency of care and objective evidence for audit.
Full and complete documentation protects staff working in
the Hospital, Community or Care Homes in cases of Litigation.
patients/clients who enter hospital, nursing or residential
homes or who are cared for in the community.
and measure the clients?
To enable their B.M.I. (Body Mass
Index) to be established and nutritional needs catered for.
use the WATERLOW pressure ulcer prevention/treatment
policy card ?
It includes the most effective
pressure sore/ulcer risk assessment scoring system - especially
when used as part of a pressure sore prevention policy.
It allocates 3 risk status categories which can be used
by an assessor in formulating a cost effective care plan.
download or buy a hard copy of the Manual?
It provides simple to understand
causes of pressure ulcers, and a guide to the prevention
of extremely debilitating and expensive pressure ulcers.
was Waterlow changed and were the changes validated by research?
Waterlow was updated as a result of a 5 year research
project conducted by Queensland Health, in which I participated.
A presentation of the Project will be made by the
Project Director, a Director of Nursing based at Prince
Charles Hospital Brisbane at the Australian Wound Management
Association Conference in March 2006.