Background: As the number of bedridden elderly patients increases, prevention of pressure ulcers is becoming a more important issue. However, an approach to this problem using medication has not been considered sufficiently in the clinical context. Objective: To test the hypothesis that anti-platelet aggregation therapy administered to the elderly patients may be helpful in preventing pressure ulcer formation, the medical records of 132 bedridden elderly patients were analyzed. In addition, the propensity of platelets to aggregate was also measured in some of the bedridden patients. Methods: Patients were divided into two groups, with pressure ulcers (group P, 52 patients) and without (group N, 80 patients). Subsequently, six factors defining the clinical characteristics age and gender, underlying disease, cause of being bedridden, level of consciousness, mobility and activity as defined on the Braden scale, and frequency of anti-platelet aggregation medication were investigated in groups P and N. In addition, physical findings (three factors): body mass index, blood pressure (BP), and heart rate were investigated in both groups. Furthermore, laboratory data (seven factors): total protein (TP), albumin, total cholesterol, hemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit (Hct), platelets, and platelet aggregation were compared between two groups. Results: There were no significant differences in clinical characteristics between the two groups with the exception of the frequency of anti-platelet aggregation medication (23.1% of group P vs. 40.0% of group N, χ2 = 4.06, p < 0.05). There was also no significant difference in physical findings except a difference between systolic and diastolic BP (48.4 mm Hg in group P vs. 57.1 mm Hg in group N, p < 0.01). Values of TP, albumin, Hb, and Hct in both groups were lower than the normal range, but there was no significant difference between the two groups. The platelet count was significantly greater in group P than in group N after lying supine (p < 0.03), and platelet aggregation in group P was significantly higher compared with group N (p < 0.03). Conclusions: Although our hypothesis must be tested by a randomized prospective trial, these results indicate that increased platelet aggregation is possibly associated with the development of pressure ulcers; therefore anti-platelet aggregation therapy may prevent their occurrence in bedridden elderly patients.
© 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel
Article / Publication Details
Published online: October 18, 2000
Issue release date: November – December
Number of Print Pages: 7
Number of Figures: 2
Number of Tables: 4
ISSN: 0304-324X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)
For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER
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