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Clinical and epidemiologic evaluation of pressure ulcers in patients at a university hospital in Turkey.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to measure the incidence of pressure ulcer development at a university health center in Turkey, and to determine whether the Waterlow Pressure Sore Risk (PSR) Scale score predicted pressure ulcer development, stage, or number of ulcers.

DESIGN: We prospectively evaluated patients who were hospitalized at our university-based medical center.

SETTING AND SUBJECTS: We analyzed data from 22,834 patients hospitalized at the Baskent University Adana Teaching and Medical Research Center in Ankara, Turkey from January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2004, including 360 patients who developed pressure ulcers.

INSTRUMENTS: The Waterlow PSR Scale was used to assess pressure ulcer risk. In addition, age, sex, the ward or unit in which the patient was hospitalized, reason for hospitalization, and location and stage of ulcers were collected on a data form designed specifically for this study.

METHODS: A single nurse physiotherapist assessed all patients daily during their hospitalization. When a pressure ulcer was diagnosed by the nurse physiotherapist, a physician staged the pressure ulcers based on the US National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) staging system.

RESULTS: Three hundred sixty out of 22,834 patients developed 1 or more pressure ulcers, resulting in an incidence rate of 1.6%. Most ulcers (59.2%) occurred in patients hospitalized in the intensive care unit (n = 213). A positive correlation between the Waterlow PSR Scale score and number of ulcers per patient (r: 0.178, P < .01) was identified. No significant correlation was found linking Waterlow PSR Scale score and ulcer stage or the development of a single ulcer.

CONCLUSION: We found significantly lower pressure ulcer incidence rates than those commonly reported in the literature, which we believe is principally attributable to short hospital stays and a strong emphasis on preventive nursing care. While high Waterlow PSR scale Scores correlated positively with development of multiple ulcers, this did not predict ulcer stage or the presence of a single pressure ulcer.

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