JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
RESEARCH SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, P.H.S.
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An animal model and computer-controlled surface pressure delivery system for the production of pressure ulcers.

Pressure ulcers continue to be a major health care problem. This paper describes an animal model and surface pressure delivery system for the production of experimentally derived pressure ulcers. A method for inducing dermal pressure lesions on the fuzzy rat was developed using a computer-controlled displacement column which produced a constant tissue interface pressure. The pressure column consists of a force transducer located between two 0.5-in (1.27-cm) diameter metal cylinders. The desired cutaneous pressure is maintained by a computer-controlled miniature stepper motor which displaces the column with the aid of interactive software. The force transducer signal is converted from analog to digital form, amplified, and recorded. Blood perfusion is monitored using a laser Doppler flowmeter (located in the tip of the column) during the application of pressure. The application of 145 mmHg pressure for 5 consecutive 6-hr sessions resulted in a greater than 90% incidence of pressure ulcers. The implications of our model and contributions of earlier animal models are discussed. This model provides a tightly controlled and measured environment making possible the scientific study of ulcer development and the evaluation of potential preventative or curative compounds.

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