Preventing Spinal Cord Injury Essay examples

920 Words 4 Pages
Pressure ulcers (PrUs) are a high-risk, high-volume, high-cost problem for persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). Approximately 273,000 persons are living with SCI in the United States today and approximately 12,000 new injuries occur per year [1]. Persons with SCI are at extreme risk for developing PrUs due to lack of sensation, immobility, moisture, and multiple other risk factors.2 Prevalence for PrUs in persons with SCI ranges from 14-32%, and recurrence rates have been reported to range from 31-79%.3 PrUs account for approximately one third of all VA SCI admissions and over half of all hospital days for veterans with SCI.3 The cost to manage one full-thickness ulcer can be as much as $70,0008 [JRRD paper] and over $17 billion is spent on pressure ulcer treatment annually in the United States [3]. The VA alone spends $100 million annually on just primary diagnoses of PrUs for Veterans with SCI [REF].
The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel defines a PrU as localized injury to the skin and/or underlying tissue usually over a bony prominence, as a result of pressure, or pressure in combination with shear and/or friction.4 Undoubtedly, high pressure applied to an area of skin over a length of time will inevitably cause tissue damage.5,6 PrUs are most commonly found over and around bony prominences; locations where interface pressures are the greatest. The majority of PrUs are found in the gluteal and sacral regions,7 principally at the ischial tuberosities, sacrum, and…