To identify patients at risk for developing pressure ulcer among hospitalized patients and the prevalence of pressure ulcer in this group.
PATIENTS AND METHOD
A prospective study included 100 patients from medical and surgical wards. Data were collected on admission, and subjects were followed up at regular intervals. The Waterlow pressure ulcer risk assessment tool was completed and patients were stratified “as not at risk,” “at risk”, “high risk”, and “very high risk”. Subjects were then monitored for 2 weeks and the actual incidence of pressure ulcer formation was analyzed in the various risk groups.
Of 100 patients studied, 20% were at risk, 10% were assessed at high risk, and 7% were classified as at very high risk for developing a pressure ulcer. Necessary preventive measures were taken (posture change, specialized beds/mattresses, nursing care, nutritional input, etc) for those patients at risk of development of pressure ulcer. Four of 7 patients (57.1%) who were at very high-risk developed pressure ulcer as compared with 2 of 10 patients (20%) categorized in the high-risk category within a period of 2 weeks. No patient who was classified as not at risk on the Waterlow pressure ulcer risk assessment tool developed a pressure ulcer within the observation period.
Pressure ulcers developed in identified risk groups despite adequate available preventive measure being taken to prevent their development. It is of extreme importance to identify patients at risk for the development of pressure ulcers so that preventive measures can be instituted to reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers.