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What is the Braden scale?

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Quick Answer

The Braden Scale is a scoring system health professionals use to determine the a patient's risk of developing a pressure sore, explains WoundRounds. A patient can receive a score ranging between 6 and 23, with a lower score indicating the patient is at a greater risk of developing a pressure sore.

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Full Answer

The Braden Scale includes six categories: nutrition, friction/shear, sensory perception, moisture, mobility and activity. A patient is at risk for developing pressure sores if he scores between 15 and 18 on the Braden Scale, notes WoundRounds. Health care providers implement interventions for a high-risk patient, such as protecting the patient's heels, turning the patient at regular intervals, using pressure redistribution surfaces, and managing moisture, nutrition, friction and shear.

If a patient scores a 13 or 14, he is at moderate risk for developing pressure sores, according to WoundRounds. For a moderate-risk patient, health care providers implement the same interventions used with at-risk patients and position the patient at a 30-degree lateral incline with foam wedges. They use the same steps for a high-risk patient, but caregivers also make small adjustments to the patient's position.

In the case of a very high-risk patient, caregivers implement all of the interventions recommended for patients at the lower levels, reports WoundRounds. In addition, caregivers add a pressure-redistribution surface for a patient experiencing severe pain or for a patient with additional risk factors.

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