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Pressure ulcer prevalence in intensive care patients: a cross-sectional study


Eman S. M. Shahin
Department of Nursing Science
Centre for the Humanities and Health Sciences
Universitätsmedizin Berlin


Background  Pressure ulcers are a potential complication for intensive care patients and their prevention is a major issue in nursing care. Therefore, this study aims to assess pressure ulcer prevalence in intensive care patients, patients' characteristics and preventive measures related to pressure ulcer prevalence in intensive care patients and to determine the most common body sites of pressure ulcers.

Method  The research design was a cross-sectional study. The sample consisted of 1760 patients (298 in 2002, 408 in 2003, 453 in 2004, 368 in 2005 and 233 participants in 2006) from surgical, medical and interdisciplinary intensive care.

Results  The results revealed a mean prevalence rate of ±30% from 2002 to 2005 while it considerably decreased down to 16.2% in 2006. Half of the pressure ulcers were of grade 1. Furthermore, a significant relation was found between the presence of pressure ulcers and age (P ≤ 0.022), Braden score (P ≤ 0.01) and bowel incontinence (P ≤ 0.01).

Conclusion  It is crucial to select appropriate and applicable preventive material/devices and nursing care measures. Moreover, factors related to the presence of pressure ulcers should be taken into consideration in order to prevent development of further pressure ulcers.

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