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Technol Health Care. 2010;18(4-5):297-302. doi: 10.3233/THC-2010-0593.

Effects of ultraviolet radiation (type B) on wound exudates, appearance and depth description.

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Medical Rehabilitation Department, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria.


Purulent exudate is one of the clinical signs of decubitus ulcers; and it is indicative of infection. The greatest challenge is the decreasing sensitivity of infective micro-organisms to antibiotics. There appears to be paucity of data on the effect of Ultraviolet radiation on wound exudates and appearance. The main purpose of this study was to determine the effect of ultraviolet radiation (Type B) on wound exudates and appearance of decubitus ulcers. Ten (10) bed-ridden subjects with ascertained bilateral sore from unrelieved pressure in their lower extremities consented to participate in the study. The decubitus ulcers were treated with traditional saline-wet-to-moist (WM) wound dressing. The decubitus ulcers on the left lower extremities were the experimental limbs and were exposed to ultraviolet radiation as adjunct while the right lower limbs served as control and received only the saline-wet-to-moist (WM) wound dressing. The frequency of treatment was 3 times per week for 6 weeks. The type of exudates produced, amount of exudates, wound appearance and depth description were scored on a 5-point likert scale. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and non-parametric inferential statistics (Kruska-Wallis test). The result of the Kruskal Wallis test showed that there was significant improvement in the type of exudates produced by the decubitus ulcers of the experimental (left) limbs (X{2} = 33.71, p < 0.00) when compared with the control limbs. Similarly, there was significant reduction in the amount of exudates produced by the decubitus ulcers of the experimental limbs (X{2} = 30.58, p < 0.00) when compared with that of the control. Also, there was significant improvement in the appearance of the decubitus ulcers (X{2} = 33.01, p< 0.00) and depth description of the experimental (left) limbs compared to that of the control (right). This study concluded that Ultraviolet radiation (Type B) can significantly improve the appearance of decubitus ulcers. Also, it can significantly reduce the amount of purulent exudates and can hasten skin replacement of decubitus ulcers.

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