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SCI Nurs. 1995 Aug;12(3):73-6.

Pressure ulcers and wound healing: educating the spinal cord injured individual on the effects of cigarette smoking.


While it is well known that smoking causes an increased risk of lung cancer and cardiovascular problems, there is little information available about cigarette smoking and its adverse effects on pressure ulcers and wound healing in the individual with spinal cord injury (SCI). Due to SCI, circulation is already compromised. Smoking has a vasoconstrictive effect on the capillaries at the dermal level, which diminishes the amount of oxygenated blood reaching the tissues, further delaying the healing process of pressure ulcers and surgical wounds (Ting, 1991). A study was developed to focus on the knowledge of smoking among individuals with SCI. A video tape was prepared to provide comprehensive information about smoking. Twenty male patients with SCI were selected at random to view the videotape. A pre-test and post-test were given to evaluate the individual's knowledge of the effects of smoking on wound healing. The data collected demonstrated the effectiveness of the videotape as a teaching tool for increasing awareness of the adverse effects of cigarette smoking on pressure ulcer prevention and wound healing. Educating the individual with SCI on the effects of cigarette smoking is an important aspect of health education that needs to be addressed.

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