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Pressure injuries found in 11 per cent of stroke rehab patients

Pressure sores could restrict the patients’ movement and lead to infection and poor nutrition



Around 11 per cent of older patients present pressure injuries when admitted to post-acute stroke rehab, a US study has revealed.

The team at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, led by Shilpa Krishnan, PT, PhD, examined data for more than 65,000 older adults aged 65 years and older who were admitted to skilled nursing facilities (SNF) following strokes.

The researchers wanted to determine the prevalence of pressure wounds upon admission and investigate factors that contributed to deep and superficial injury.

They found that the 11 per cent of patients arriving for care with pressure wounds track closely with the numbers found across the long-term care facility spectrum while older adults, non-Hispanic Blacks and patients with multiple comorbidities were more likely to have these injuries.

When compared to patients with superficial wounds, patients with deep pressure wounds were more likely to be younger than 75 years, non-Hispanic Black and have a lower socioeconomic status.

Many had also experienced an intensive care unit stay, had higher functional impairments, skin integrity issues, system failure and infections.

The team recommended that comorbid chronic disease be addressed during post-acute care, noting that a reduction in stroke rehabilitation therapy secondary to a pressure wound may impede stroke recovery.

For reasons that may be associated with higher comorbidities and pain, individuals with pressure wounds received less individual physical therapy and occupational therapy treatment than those with no pressure wounds.

According to the Stroke Journal, pressure sores, also known as pressure ulcers, commonly affect the areas around bone protuberances, restricting the patients’ movement and leading to infection and poor nutrition.

As well as affecting stroke prognosis, pressure sores may also increase intensive nursing time, length of hospitalisation, and medical expenditures.