How sedative medication in older people affects patient risk factors for developing pressure ulcers.

L. A. Lindquist*, J. Feinglass, G. J. Martin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: This US study set out to examine the relationship between pressure-ulcer risk and sedation. The researchers examined the frequency of sedative use and the severity of pressure ulceration among older patients hospitalised for skin-ulcer treatment. They compared 91 patients who had been sedated before admission to hospital with 101 who had not. METHOD: A retrospective chart-review study was carried out between August 1994 and September 2001 in a tertiary-care metropolitan teaching hospital in the US. A total of 278 patients were identified from computerised discharge records. They were aged 60 years or more and had been discharged with medically treated skin ulcers, skin grafts, debridements or cellulitis. They had a principal or secondary diagnosis of chronic skin ulceration. RESULTS: Of the patients with pressure ulcers, 45.5% had been on sedation before admission. They were only slightly more likely to have come from nursing homes and there were no significant differences in prevalence of conditions such as oncological diseases or spinal-cord injury between them and non-sedated patients. However, patients sedated before admission were more likely to be female (67.1%, p = 0.04) and had almost a fivefold higher incidence of extremely severe ulceration (p < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: Almost half of the older patients hospitalised with pressure ulcers had been taking sedatives before admission. They were more likely to have extremely severe ulcers with necrotic tissue, pressure ulcers in multiple sites, and the largest and deepest ulcers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-275
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Wound Care
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fundamentals and skills
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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