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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1990 Jul;38(7):748-52.

The short-term outcome of pressure sores.

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Medical Service, ENRM Veterans Hospital, Bedford, MA 01730.


Patients with pressure sores have been observed to have a poor prognosis. The short-term outcome of pressure sores at a long-term care hospital was therefore evaluated. Medical records on the 301 admissions to this hospital over a 13-month period were reviewed. One hundred patients (33%) had a pressure sore present on admission. Using ordinary therapies, 79% of these pressure sores improved and 40% completely healed during the 6-week follow-up period. Remaining bed- or chair-bound was the sole patient characteristic associated with a failure of the pressure sore to improve. Mortality rates were significantly increased in patients with a pressure sore present on admission (relative risk [RR] = 1.9), in patients who developed a new sore (RR = 3.1), and in patients in whom the pressure sore failed to improve (RR = 3.3). However, the pressure sores did not appear to be the direct cause of this increased mortality. These data suggest that the majority of pressure sores encountered at a long-term care hospital can be successfully managed in this setting. Although patients with pressure sores have an increased mortality rate, this is most likely due to coexisting medical conditions.

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