Predicting and preventing pressure ulcers in people with spinal cord injury (SCI) is an ongoing challenge, with life-threatening and costly consequences for wheelchair users with SCI. Undetected cushion failures, caregiver turnover or inexperienced caregivers are among the list of factors that can increase the incidence of pressure ulcers.
Tamara L. Vos-Draper, O.T., Discusses the Pressure Ulcer Prevention App
Mayo Clinic's seating clinic receives about 900 patient visits annually, and about 54 percent of those visits are associated with pressure ulcers. Up to 95 percent of adults with SCI experience at least one advanced pressure ulcer during their lifetimes. When sepsis occurs, which occurs in 25 percent of non-healing ulcers, the mortality rate is 50 percent. In addition to their significant impact upon mortality and morbidity, pressure sores among SCI patients also account for $6.3 billion in added medical expenses in the U.S.
These grim statistics moved a team from Mayo Clinic's seating clinic to explore new ways to address this common problem. Seat interface pressure mapping is one tool that has helped reduce patients' risk of pressure sores.