Spine

Multidisciplinary approach may prevent pressure ulcer infection from gunshot-spinal cord injury

By Jason Laday

Home-based rehabilitation and spinal cord injury-related wound clinics, as part of a multidisciplinary approach, may help prevent pressure ulcers and their complications in patients with gunshot-spinal cord injuries, according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

“In 2006, hospitalizations related to [pressure ulcers] in patients with and without [spinal cord injuries] accounted for a total of 503,300 hospital stays and significant health care expenditures, up to $11 billion,” Keith S. Kaye, MD, MPH, an Infectious Disease News Editorial Board member and a professor of medicine at Wayne State University, and colleagues wrote. “The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reported that hospitalizations as a result of [pressure ulcers] increased by approximately 80% from 1993 to 2006. In this report, younger patients (aged 18 to 44 years) had a longer average hospital stay related to [pressure ulcers] compared with patients aged 85 years and older (14 days vs. 10 days). The mean charge of hospitalization related to [pressure ulcers] was estimated as $37,800.”

According to the researchers, approximately 40% of spinal cord injuries in Detroit are the result of gunshot wounds. To investigate the risk factors of pressure ulcer infections, as well as identify in-hospital costs associated with such infections in patients with gunshot-related spinal cord injuries, they conducted a retrospective chart review at three acute care hospitals in the Detroit metropolitan area.

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