The Prevalance of Moisture-Associated Skin Damage for Adult Patients in an Acute Care Setting

Sherry Lynn Werth, MSN, RN, CWOCN, Nursing Education and Research, Sparrow Hospital, Lansing, MI

Purpose: Moisture-associated skin damage (MASD) is defined as “inflammation and erosion of the skin caused by prolonged exposure to various sources of moisture, including urine or stool, perspiration, wound exudate, mucus, or saliva”.1  The prevalence of incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD) reported in the literature range from approximately 5% to 36% in acute care sittings.  This author was unable to find studies reporting the prevalence of MASD in the acute care sitting.  The purpose of this project was to determine the prevalence of MASD at one Level 1 Trauma Center in the mid-west. It was determined the most appropriate time to collect MASD prevalence data was concurrently with the quarterly Pressure Ulcer Prevalence Survey (PUPS).  The PUPS team consists of 40 registered nurses.  The Institutional Review Board deemed this project to be quality improvement and patient consent was not needed.

Objective: The objective was to determine the prevalence of MASD during the PUPS.  During this survey all adult patients are asked to participate.  The patient’s skin is assessed from head to toe, and all pressure ulcers are recorded. A MASD data collection tool was developed by the WOC nurse. The tool was filled out only for the patients with MASD.  The data collected included the patient’s age, sex and whether the condition was hospital acquired.  Data was also collected regarding anatomical location of the skin damage and treatment(s) in use at the time of assessment.  

Outcomes: Data was collected quarterly for one year.  The number of patients assessed each quarter was between 335 and 383 with a mean of 366.5. The results for IAD were determined separately from the other causes of MASD.  The mean of the 4 quarters for IAD was 2.3% and MAD was 2.1%.