What is A World Without Skin Tears Day?
Today marks the second annual A World Without Skin Tears Day. The global event is organised by the International Skin Tear Advisory Panel (ISTAP). The organisation was founded in 2011 by a group of healthcare professionals and advocates committed to raising awareness and improving outcomes for people at risk and/or experiencing skin tears.
Why is A World Without Skin Tears Day observed?
ISTAP defines a skin tear as a ‘traumatic wound caused by mechanical forces’ that results in the separation of the skin’s layers. The force of any mechanical trauma and the fragility of the skin will determine whether a skin tear will be a partial-thickness or full-thickness wound. Skin tears are generally acute wounds, but they run the risk of becoming complex, chronic wounds with improper management. Skin tears sometimes resemble other wounds (i.e., lesions). However, they are often characterised by a skin flap that should be reapproximated if it is still viable.
Although skin tears are most prevalent in the elderly population, premature infants and critically ill populations are also at risk of developing skin tears. Research indicates that skin tears are just as, if not more, common than pressure ulcers. Yet, despite the prevalence of skin tears, there are few educational resources readily available on skin tears relative to the number available for other wounds. This has historically made it difficult to develop widespread medical consensus on the proper prevention, assessment and management of skin tears.
The ISTAP Skin Tear Classification System and toolkit was designed to create a systemic, validated and simple skin tear management protocol that can be applied in different healthcare settings.
A World Without Skin Tears Day encourages a more standardised approach to skin tear management. The day also promotes more research in different areas of skin tear management, including infection prevention and dressing selection.
Above all, A World Without Skin Tears Day seeks to end any undue complications and suffering caused by the occurrence and poor management of skin tears.
For more information on A World Without Skin Tears Day, please visit the official ISTAP website: Home | International Skin Tear Advisory Panel (skintears.org)
If you would like to learn more about our Repair the Tear: Skin Tear Training designed for and delivered to nursing homes in the UK, please click the link to our sign-up form: Skin Tears Free Training | Richardson Healthcare