• continuous monitoring;
  • intensive care;
  • intensive care nursing;
  • interface pressure;
  • pressure ulcer;
  • support surface


Title. Continuous monitoring of interface pressure distribution in intensive care patients for pressure ulcer prevention.

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study conducted to examine whether continuous interface pressure monitoring of postoperative patients in an intensive care unit is feasible in clinical practice.

Background.  The interface pressure between skin and surfaces is generally evaluated for pressure ulcer prevention. However, the intensity and duration of interface pressure necessary for pressure ulcer development remains unclear because the conventional interface pressure sensors are unsuitable for continuous monitoring in clinical settings.

Methods.  A total of 30 postoperative patients in an intensive care unit participated in this study in 2006–2007. A sensor was built into a thermoelastic polymer mattress. The whole-body interface pressure was recorded for up to 48 hours. Pressure ulcer development was observed during the morning bed-bath. For analysis, the intensity and duration of the maximal interface pressure was evaluated.

Findings.  The mean age of the study group was 62·0 ± 15·4 years. Two participants developed stage I pressure ulcer and blanchable redness at the sacrum. The longest duration of pressures greater than 100 mmHg were 487·0, 273·5 and 275·7 minutes in the pressure ulcer, blanchable redness and no redness groups respectively.

Conclusion.  Continuous monitoring of the intensity and duration of whole-body interface pressure using the KINOTEX sensor is feasible in intensive care patients.