Characteristics of hospitalised US veterans with nosocomial pressure ulcers.
ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to describe demographic and clinical characteristics of hospitalised US veterans with nosocomial pressure ulcer (NPU) referred to a certified Wound, Ostomy & Continence Nurse (WOCN). We conducted a retrospective review of electronic records at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center in the northwestern USA. Records of veterans with NPU referred to a WOCN (n = 29) from May 2005 to June 2006 were reviewed. Location and stage of pressure ulcer(s), Braden score on admission and when the ulcer was first noted, day of hospital stay when the ulcer was first noted, medical diagnoses and clinical conditions and events such as surgery, hypoxemia, hypoalbuminemia and hypotension were recorded. Mean age of the patients was 69·8. The most common location was the sacrum/coccyx. Most ulcers were stage 1 when identified. Braden score during admission classified half of the sample at risk, but 81% of Braden scores at ulcer occurrence were <18. Ninety percent of the sample had three or more comorbidities. Over half had died in the 1-14 months after the reviewed hospitalisation. Hospitalised veterans referred for WOCN consultation had multiple risk factors and comorbid conditions, including hypoxemia, serum albumin depletion, anaemia and hypotension. Veterans cared for in Veterans Affairs Medical Centers are known to have multiple health problems, and those in this sample not only had nosocomial pressure ulcer, but also other physiological derangements that may shorten survival.