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Risk Factors Associated With Pressure Ulcer Development in Critically Ill Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury Patients

Wilczweski, Patricia BSN, RN; Grimm, Dawnetta MSN, CCNS, CCRN, RN; Gianakis, Anastasia BSN, RN, CCRN; Gill, Bridget BSN, RN, CPN; Sarver, Wendy BS, RN; McNett, Molly PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/JTN.0b013e31823a4528

Critically ill spinal cord injury (SCI) patients are at high risk for pressure ulcers. Research is needed to identify risk factors for pressure ulcers. The aim of this study was to investigate risk factors and outcomes of pressure ulcers in critically ill SCI patients. This is a retrospective cohort study. Data were gathered from medical records of adult patients with SCI admitted to surgical intensive care units. Ninety-four SCI patients participated in this study. Clinical variables associated with pressure ulcers were as follows: fecal management systems, incontinence, acidosis, support surfaces, steroids, and additional equipment. Hypotension was the strongest predictor of pressure ulcers. Nursing interventions may address risk factors and improve patient outcomes.

Departments of Trauma (Ms Wilczweski), Nursing (Mss Grimm, Gianakis, and Gill), and Nursing Research (Ms Sarver and Dr McNett), MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio.

Correspondence: Molly McNett, PhD, RN, Nursing Business Office, MetroHealth Medical Center, 2500 MetroHealth Dr, Cleveland, OH 44011 (

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Copyright © 2012 by the Society of Trauma Nurses.