Cohort study of atypical pressure ulcers development


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Abstract

Atypical pressure ulcers (APU) are distinguished from common pressure ulcers (PU) with both unusual location and different aetiology. The occurrence and attempts to characterise APU remain unrecognised. The purpose of this cohort study was to analyse the occurrence of atypical location and the circumstances of the causation, and draw attention to the prevention and treatment by a multidisciplinary team. The cohort study spanned three and a half years totalling 174 patients. The unit incorporates two weekly combined staff meetings. One concentrates on wound assessment with treatment decisions made by the physician and nurse, and the other, a multidisciplinary team reviewing all patients and coordinating treatment. The main finding of this study identified APU occurrence rate of 21% within acquired PU over a three and a half year period. Severe spasticity constituted the largest group in this study and the most difficult to cure wounds, located in medial aspects of knees, elbows and palms. Medical devices caused the second largest occurrence of atypical wounds, located in the nape of the neck, penis and nostrils. Bony deformities were the third recognisable atypical wound group located in shoulder blades and upper spine. These three categories are definable and time observable. APU are important to be recognisable, and can be healed as well as being prevented. The prominent role of the multidisciplinary team is primary in identification, prevention and treatment.

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