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Contemp Nurse. 2000 Jun;9(2):155-60.

Comparing Norton, Braden and Waterlow risk assessment scales for pressure ulcers in spinal cord injuries.

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School of Nursing, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria.


When pressure ulcers occur health care services are faced with considerable challenges and costs. Additionally these ulcers cause significant physical and psycho-social impairment for patients and their families. The complexity of pressure ulcer management is widely acknowledged in the literature. However, the applicability of the major risk assessment scales in the context of spinal cord injury has not been explored. Retrospective case history audit of individuals with pressure ulcers provided data to compare the three commonly used Norton, Braden and Waterlow scales. Waterlow's scale was the most sensitive of the three scales compared.

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