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Incidence and Prevalence of Pressure Ulcers in Children

Baldwin, Kathleen M. PhD, RN, CEN, CCRN, ANP, GNP

FEATURES: ORIGINAL INVESTIGATIONS
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OBJECTIVE To determine the incidence and prevalence of pressure ulcers in children.

DESIGN National survey mailed to 234 members of 4 pediatric-specific health care databases.

PARTICIPANTS A total of 55 questionnaires were returned (25% return rate). Fifty-one of the questionnaires were suitable for obtaining prevalence data and 40 were suitable for obtaining incidence data.

RESULTS The pressure ulcer incidence rate was 0.29% and the prevalence rate for 1998 was 0.47%. Many of the contributing factors cited by participants mirrored those seen in adult patients with pressure ulcers.

CONCLUSION Under the National Institutes of Health guidelines, children can be excluded from pressure ulcer studies that include subjects above age 21 because of the rarity of pressure ulcer development in the pediatric population. However, separate pediatric pressure ulcer studies should be conducted to determine best-practice models for children with pressure ulcers.

Kathleen M. Baldwin, PhD, RN, CEN, CCRN, ANP, GNP, is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at Texas Christian University Harris School of Nursing, Fort Worth, TX.

Submitted August 21, 2000; accepted in revised form May 3, 2001.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.