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n Southern African Journal of Critical Care - Pressure sores in spinal cord injury : active intervention saves costs
Summary. Pressure sores are a predictable consequence of poorly managed spinal cord-injured patients. Not only do pressure sores contribute to the morbidity, but also add significantly to the medical / nursing management, cost and admission stay, limiting optimal bed utilisation. This intervention study assesses the impact of active intervention in terms of pressure-relief mattresses, establishment of a 'turning team' and medical / nursing staff education on pressure sore incidence, extended stay and associated costs.
Results. The de novo incidence reduced from 16% to nil once the interventions were in place, with an annualised estimated saving of R738 239, or R4 732 per cervical spine-injured patient admitted.
Conclusion. Active intervention costs are well justified by the cost saving in terms of reduced extended stay days. The routine use of pressure-relieving mattresses and a turning team in the management of spinal cord injuries is recommended.
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