Risk Factors Associated with Pressure Ulcers Among Older Adults in the Emergency Department

Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science



Department or Program Chair

Barbara Ganley, PhD

Thesis Advisor

Luanne Linnard-Palmer, EdD, RN


As of January 2008 hospitals are required to expand or continue their programs lor preventing pressure ulcers (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2008). As part ol this effort, this study will review care processes for pressure ulcer assessment and prevention to adopt changes in care on admission at the Marin General Hospital.

This study will review and discuss the importance of risk assessment tool to evaluate patient risk predictor for developing pressure ulcer and skin assessment at the early stage of admission in the emergency department.

This study is a retrospective convenience chart review of 86 elderly populations with the mean age of 68 (SD=5) years old whom were admitted to the hospital through emergency department. This study reviews the quality of nurse’s skin assessment and documentation upon admission in the emergency room and through the hospitalization.

The final sample of 86 medical records were reviewed from elderly patients revealed 41% of subjects were identified as having problem or potential problem to develop pressure ulcers. In addition, from the total sample 52% of subjects were identified to have risk factor diagnoses as predictors to develop pressure ulcers.

The mean length of stay in the emergency department was 7(SD= 4) hours. The researcher did not find significant relationship between length of stay at the emergency department and the Braden score upon admission and discharge.

Result from this study reveals a need for specific standardized guidelines and plan for assessment, prevention, and treatment of pressure ulcers issued by AHRQ and JCAHO in the health care setting.