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Pressure sores-a reappraisal.

Pressure sores are a common problem. They are casually accepted, their etiology is well defined, and treatment is standardized. How, therefore, can the subject justify reappraisal? On detailed review, evidence is presented showing that pressure sores can be minimized, that their pathophysiology is far from certain, and that their management is changing dramatically. During the past decade, new preventive measures have been adopted consisting of multidisciplinary tissue trauma clinics for paraplegic patients, based in rehabilitation hospitals, as well as early identification of the "at-risk" subgroup of geriatric patients who will require aggressive nursing care. Although pressure is the most widely accepted etiological factor, no sophisticated experimental studies have corroborated this hypothesis, and in fact, the majority of research conflicts with clinical observations. Recently, new surgical proceudres-myocutaneous and sensory skin flaps-have been devised to solve complex coverage problems which will possibly reduce the recurrence rate. An in-depth review of pressure sores is therefore warranted and will, we hope, stimulate renewed interest in this all-too-frequent clinical affliction.

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