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J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 1996 Jan;23(1):15-22.

Pressure ulcer incidence in an acute care setting.


The purpose of this prospective study was to determine the incidence of pressure ulcers and to examine factors related to pressure ulcer development in patients in an acute care setting. Adult medical and surgical patients who were free of pressure ulcers at admission were assessed within 36 hours of admission and then three times per week for 2 weeks or until discharge. Instruments included a demographic data form, a skin assessment form, and the Braden Scale for Predicting Pressure Sore Risk. Most subjects had 46 assessments completed. The sample consisted of 149 subjects, with a pressure ulcer incidence rate of 13.4% (n = 20). Subjects who acquired pressure ulcers had lower hemoglobin levels (t = 2.17, p = 0.03), spent more time in bed (t = 3.90, p = 0.0001), and spent less time in a chair (t = 3.2, p = 0.002) than those who did not acquire pressure ulcers. A stepwise logistic regression analysis was used to calculate risk of pressure ulcer development. In the final model, hemoglobin level and hours spent in bed continued to be predictors of pressure ulcer development (chi 2 = 9.306, df = 2, p = 0.0095). All 20 subjects who acquired pressure ulcers were further categorized into groups with stage I (n = 12) or stage II (n = 8) ulcers. Patients with stage I pressure ulcers were primarily receiving post-surgical care (67%), whereas patients who acquired stage II ulcers had medical conditions that affected tissue perfusion, such as respiratory diseases (50%) and diabetes mellitus (12%).

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