Pressure ulcers in trauma patients with suspected spine injury: a prospective cohort study with emphasis on device-related pressure ulcers



Of all patients in a hospital environment, trauma patients may be particularly at risk for developing (device-related) pressure ulcers (PUs), because of their traumatic injuries, immobility, and exposure to immobilizing and medical devices. Studies on device-related PUs are scarce. With this study, the incidence and characteristics of PUs and the proportion of PUs that are related to devices in adult trauma patients with suspected spinal injury were described. From January–December 2013, 254 trauma patients were visited every 2 days for skin assessment. The overall incidence of PUs was 28·3% (n = 72/254 patients). The incidence of device-related PUs was 20·1% (n = 51), and 13% (n = 33) developed solely device-related PUs. We observed 145 PUs in total of which 60·7% were related to devices (88/145). Device-related PUs were detected 16 different locations on the front and back of the body. These results show that the incidence of PUs and the proportion of device-related PUs is very high in trauma patients.