How do microclimate factors affect the risk for superficial pressure ulcers: a mathematical modeling study

J Tissue Viability. 2011 Aug;20(3):81-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jtv.2010.10.002. Epub 2010 Nov 5.


In this study, a mathematical model is developed for analyzing the effects of the microclimate on skin tolerance to superficial pressure ulcers (SPUs). The modeling identified the following factors as such that decrease the tolerance of skin to SPUs: (i) increase in the skin temperature, (ii) increase in the ambient temperature, (iii) increase in the relative humidity, (iv) increase in the skin-support (or skin-clothing-support) contact pressures, and (v) decrease in permeabilities of the materials contacting the skin or being close to it, e.g. the covering sheet of the support and clothing. The modeling is consistent with relevant empirical findings and clinical observations documented in the literature, explains them from a basic science aspect, and can be further developed for design of interventions, safer patient clothing and supports that consider the optimization of microclimate factors.

MeSH terms

  • Beds
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Humidity
  • Microclimate*
  • Models, Biological
  • Pressure Ulcer / prevention & control*
  • Skin Temperature*
  • Temperature
  • Wheelchairs