The Relationship of External Devices and the Development of Pressure Ulcers in a Pediatric Population

Student Author(s)

Ashley Ritsema

Faculty Mentor(s)

JoAnn Mooney, BSN, RN, CPN, CPPS, and Barbara Vincensi, PhD, RN, FNP

Document Type


Event Date



Efforts are being made to reduce the prevalence of the development of pressure ulcers in pediatric hospitals using pressure ulcer risk assessment tools including the Braden Scale, Braden Q, and Pediatric Pressure Ulcer Prediction & Evaluation Tool (PPUPET). Many factors lead to skin breakdown and pressure ulcer development. The purpose of this study is to determine the frequency of pressure ulcers related to the presence of external devices. The conceptual framework is based on Betty Neuman’s Systems Model Nursing Theory, which looks at different variables in the internal, external and created environments that place patients at an increased risk for a certain condition. Information was gathered from 70 patients both male and female during a skin audit day at a teaching children’s hospital in West Michigan. Pediatric patients on all inpatient units were assessed excluding the NICU, patients who refused the skin audit and those off the unit. Analysis of the data was run on SPSS using descriptive statistics to determine correlations and percentages. Chi-square tests were performed to determine relationships in the data. Results show no significant findings comparing the number of devices and presence of pressure ulcers (Pearson’s r = -.159, p = .189). There was a significant positive correlation found between the number of devices and the PPUPET score given to that patient (Pearson’s r = .697, p = .000). Limitations include data from one West Michigan children’s hospital. This study will aid in the awareness of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers in the pediatric population and lead to implementation of tools that will work to identify early pressure ulcers caused by external devices.

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