Pressure ulcers in the intensive care unit: the 'forgotten' enemy
Reilly, Eugene F.; Karakousis, G. C.; Schrag, Sherwin P. and Stawicki, S. Peter (2007) Pressure ulcers in the intensive care unit: the 'forgotten' enemy. OPUS 12 Scientist, 1 (2). pp. 17-30. ISSN 1940-8633
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Pressure ulcers (PU) have plagued critically ill and debilitated patients since the dawn of recorded medicine. Pressure ulcers are associated with adverse patient outcomes, and contribute to patient pain, depression, loss of function and independence, increased incidence of infection and sepsis, additional surgical interventions, and prolonged hospital stays. Therefore, the best treatment for pressure ulcers is to prevent their development. Relatively little has been written about PU in the intensive care unit (ICU) setting, making this topic relatively ‘forgotten’ not only from clinical standpoint but also from research standpoint. For the intensivist, the concern for total welfare of the sickest and most dependent persons requires an excellent understanding of the epidemiology, causes, and effective methods for the prevention and treatment of PU in the context of a multidisciplinary team. This review focuses on PU prevention, diagnosis and treatment in the intensive care setting.
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