Despite implementation of extensive prevention initiatives, pressure ulcers continue to occur in hospitalized patients. Prevalence rates are highest among patients in intensive care settings. Identifying risk factors that accurately predict pressure ulcers aids in selecting the most appropriate prevention strategies. In a retrospective descriptive study of 347 adult patients admitted to a medical-surgical intensive care unit (ICU), Cox found the following:

  • Pressure ulcers are caused by many different factors.

  • Although prolonged length of stay in the ICU was a significant independent risk factor, most pressure ulcers developed within the first week.

  • Patient age, cardiovascular disease, and use of norepinephrine were other independent risk factors found to be significant predictors of pressure ulcers.

  • The Braden subscales mobility and friction/shear were significant predictors of pressure ulcer development.

  • Development and testing of a model to accurately assess risk of pressure ulcer development in critically ill patients...

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