OBJECTIVE: To assess pressure ulcer (PrU) treatment in Swiss hospitalized pediatric patients and to determine whether there are differences in PrU treatment, according to demographic characteristics of the patients.
DESIGN: A descriptive multicenter point prevalence study was conducted in June 2009 in all German-speaking pediatric hospitals in Switzerland.
SETTING: All hospitalized patients from birth up to 17 years or younger in 14 Swiss pediatric hospitals, including all pediatric departments, were assessed.
PATIENTS: A total of 412 patients participated in this study.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The instrument and method of the Dutch National Prevalence Measurement of Care Problems were used.
MAIN RESULTS: Thirty-five percent of the patients had a PrU. Almost all of these PrUs (94.1%) were of category 1. The most severe PrUs occurred in patients older than 8 years. Age of the patient and department were the only characteristics that significantly influenced the occurrence of PrU categories 2 to 4. Pressure ulcer categories 2 to 4 were mostly covered with hydrocolloid or polyurethane foam dressings. No pediatric-specific guideline regarding PrU treatment is used in the involved hospitals.
CONCLUSION: Most patients had category 1 PrUs, so appropriate prevention to decrease any further trauma in these patients was necessary. Severe PrUs (categories 2–4) are mostly limited to older pediatric (aged >8 years) patients with chronic conditions or after surgery intervention. A PrU treatment guideline adapted for pediatric needs is recommended.