-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- Bedsores affect hospitalized
children more often than previously believed and most of them are
caused by medical devices, a new study finds.
Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
found that at least 10 percent of children admitted to the hospital
developed bedsores, also called pressure ulcers. That rate is more
than twice as high as was thought to occur in youngsters.
Compared with adults, in whom more than 70 percent of bedsores
occur due to pressure on bony parts of the body, this study found
that most of these skin tissue injuries in children are caused by
"These devices include facemasks used in delivering mechanical ventilation to the sickest patients, tracheotomy tubes, pulse oximeters (used to measure oxygen saturation in the blood) and orthopedic casts," study author Marty Visscher, director of the skin sciences program, said in a medical center news release.
"While often lifesaving, these devices can cause pressure ulcers that can be quite serious. Their incidence is higher in critically ill patients, with increased infection, pain and prolonged hospitalization," she explained.
The study was published online in the journal
In response to their findings, the researchers developed a
quality improvement program that they report has reduced bedsores
at the medical center by 50 percent.
"While this initial intervention has proved to be efficacious, we need to use established skin evaluation methods, identify early tissue changes and test additional interventions to reduce harm from medical devices," Visscher said. "The unanticipated increase in pressure ulcers from pulse oximeters indicates that new products must be evaluated before widespread use."
Even though these skin tissue injuries might not always cause
serious problems, they are often one of the most visible signs of
illness in a bedridden patient, and can be an emotional tipping
point for families with sick children, the researchers said. That's
another major reason why it's important to take steps to prevent
bedsores, the study authors noted in the news release.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about
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