The Braden Scale is a tool used to assess the risk of developing pressure ulcers (also known as bed sores) in patients who are bedridden or have limited mobility. It was developed in 1987 by Barbara Braden and Nancy Bergstrom, two nursing professionals who recognized the need for a comprehensive, evidence-based method for identifying patients at risk for pressure ulcers and implementing prevention strategies.
The Braden Scale consists of six subscales that assess different risk factors for developing pressure ulcers: sensory perception, moisture, activity, mobility, nutrition, and friction/shear. Each subscale is scored on a scale of 1 to 4, with 1 being the highest risk and 4 being the lowest risk. The overall score is then calculated by adding up the scores from each subscale, with a total score ranging from 6 (highest risk) to 24 (lowest risk).
The sensory perception subscale assesses a patient's ability to feel and respond to pressure, pain, and temperature changes in the skin. Factors that are taken into account include the presence of sensory deficits, such as numbness or paralysis, and the patient's ability to communicate their needs and discomfort.
The moisture subscale assesses the amount of moisture present on the skin, which can increase the risk of pressure ulcers. Factors that are taken into account include incontinence, sweating, and the presence of drainage.
The activity subscale assesses a patient's level of physical activity and mobility. Factors that are taken into account include the patient's ability to change positions, walk, and perform self-care tasks.
The mobility subscale assesses a patient's ability to change positions and move around in bed. Factors that are taken into account include the patient's ability to move independently, use assistive devices, and participate in physical therapy or other rehabilitation activities.
The nutrition subscale assesses a patient's dietary intake and the presence of any malnutrition or dehydration. Factors that are taken into account include the patient's intake of nutrients, fluids, and calories, as well as their weight and hemoglobin levels.
The friction/shear subscale assesses the presence of forces that can cause skin irritation and damage, such as friction from sliding or turning in bed and shear forces from pressing against a hard surface. Factors that are taken into account include the patient's position in bed, the use of lifting devices, and the presence of support surfaces or special mattresses.
Overall, the Braden Scale is a useful tool for identifying patients at risk for pressure ulcers and implementing preventive measures. By regularly assessing patients using the Braden Scale and implementing appropriate interventions, healthcare professionals can significantly reduce the incidence of pressure ulcers and improve patient outcomes.