Incidence of pressure ulcers in neonatal intensive and intermediate care patients

Section: Originals

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Valenzuela Valenzuela A, Aparicio López M, de Frutos Pecharromán J, Gutiérrez Montero J, Sunyer Bernaus C. Incidencia de úlceras por presión en pacientes de cuidados intensivos e intermedios neonatales. Metas Enferm sep 2018; 21(7):12-6.


Anna Valenzuela Valenzuela1, María Aparicio López1, Julia de Frutos Pecharromán1, Javier Gutiérrez Montero1, Cristina Sunyer Bernaus1


1Enfermera/o especialista en Pediatría. Hospital Universitario Materno-Infantil Vall d’Hebron. Barcelona

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Anna Valenzuela Valenzuela. Avda. Paralel, 46. 08001 Barcelona

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Objectives: to determine the incidence of pressure ulcers (PUs) in the neonatal intermediate and critical care units (CCU) of a third level hospital, as well as to classify neonatal PUs according to their location, level, duration, and sociodemographical and clinical factors of the newborn.
Method: a descriptive cross-sectional prospective study in the N-ICU and Intermediate Care Unit of the Hospital Universitario Valld’Hebron (Barcelona). Data were collected from March to June, 2016, from 243 hospitalized patients. There was a daily collection of any new cases of PUs and their subsequent follow-up.
Results: in total, 49 PUs were detected in 38 hospitalized patients. A 15.6% cumulative incidence rate was estimated, and an incidence rate of 1.3 ulcers per each 100 days-newborn. Of these PUs, 65.3% were detected in Stage I, and their mean duration was 7.26 days. In 85.7% of cases, the development of lesions was associated with the presence of devices (respiratory in 57.1% of cases, particularly CPAP (40.8%)); therefore, the most frequent location was the nasal area (53.1%).
Conclusions: even though there is still room for improvement, the low degree and fast resolution of PUs show that the skin is adequately monitored, and that once the lesion has been detected, those actions targeted to its cure are effective. The high incidence of lesions associated with CPAP-type devices show the importance of multidisciplinary work for the development of prevention and treatment measures.


Pressure ulcer; newborn; pre-term newborn; neonatal intensive care units; incidence; epidemiology; cross-sectional descriptive study

Versión en Español


Incidencia de úlceras por presión en pacientes de cuidados intensivos e intermedios neonatales