Intraoperatively Acquired Pressure Ulcers and Perioperative Normothermia: A Look at Relationships
WellStar School of Nursing
Math and Statistics
The risk of developing an intraoperatively acquired pressure ulcer (IAPU), which is recognized as a significant complication of deep tissue injury occurrence, is associated with duration of surgery and patient positioning. There is a strong association between hypothermia, tissue viability, and surgical site infections; however, the relationship between hypothermia and pressure ulcers has not been fully explored. We examined the incidence of pressure ulcers in surgical patients and determined that there is a relationship between maintaining perioperative normothermia and a reduction in IAPU development. We used a retrospective, explanatory, nonexperimental design, and we fit a binary logistic model to the data. This study shows that patients at higher risk for developing an IAPU include those who are critically ill, have a low Braden Scale skin assessment score, are thin, and are male with at least a 1° F (1.8° C) drop in temperature. These are important risks for perioperative nurses to take into account during care of surgical patients. More perioperative research is needed to identify ways to reduce risk, provide close assessment of high-risk patients, and implement the identified risk-reduction strategies.
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