Prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers in the surgical intensive care unit

John P. Kirby, Oliver L. Gunter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To review recent work on pressure ulcer prevention and treatment in the intensive care unit within the context of previous work. RECENT FINDINGS: Although pressure ulcerations are an age-old and relatively common problem, their pathophysiology, risk factors for their development, and treatment options lack complete understanding. Most of the available literature is based on noncritical care patient clinical experience in noncritical care journals. Previous estimates of pressure ulcer underestimate the problem in high-acuity intensive care units. Available risk factors in previously validated tools may not be accurate in the intensive care unit patient population. However, the current literature provides an initial footing for intensivists to improve their pressure ulcer prevention and treatment methods that will become increasingly important for clinical certification as well as research. SUMMARY: Preventing and treating pressure ulcers will continue to be a troublesome problem for intensivists. Accurate assessments and comparisons remain problematic across a heterogeneous intensive care unit population. Risk stratification schema need tailoring to the problems of intensive care unit patients. Treatment modalities may not prevent all pressure ulcer development or extension. Available data support dedicated training of nurses and physicians to maximize local intensive care unit resources to minimize the impact of pressure ulceration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-431
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Opinion in Critical Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Decubitus ulcers
  • Guidelines
  • Incidence
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Prevalence
  • Prevention
  • Protocols
  • Risk factors
  • Treatment


Dive into the research topics of 'Prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers in the surgical intensive care unit'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this