Using Pressure Mapping to Optimize Hospital-Acquired Pressure Injury Prevention Strategies in the Burn Intensive Care Unit

J Burn Care Res. 2021 Aug 4;42(4):610-616. doi: 10.1093/jbcr/irab061.


Although prior studies have demonstrated the utility of real-time pressure mapping devices in preventing pressure ulcers, there has been little investigation of their efficacy in burn intensive care unit (BICU) patients, who are at especially high risk for these hospital-acquired injuries. This study retrospectively reviewed clinical records of BICU patients to investigate the utility of pressure mapping data in determining the incidence, predictors, and associated costs of hospital-acquired pressure injuries (HAPIs). Of 122 patients, 57 (47%) were studied prior to implementation of pressure mapping and 65 (53%) were studied after implementation. The HAPI rate was 18% prior to implementation of pressure monitoring, which declined to 8% postimplementation (chi square: P = .10). HAPIs were less likely to be stage 3 or worse in the postimplementation cohort (P < .0001). On multivariable-adjusted regression accounting for known predictors of HAPIs in burn patients, having had at least 12 hours of sustained pressure loading in one area significantly increased odds of developing a pressure injury in that area (odds ratio 1.3, 95% CI 1.0-1.5, P = .04). Patients who developed HAPIs were significantly more likely to have had unsuccessful repositioning efforts in comparison to those who did not (P = .02). Finally, implementation of pressure mapping resulted in significant cost savings-$6750 (standard deviation: $1008) for HAPI-related care prior to implementation, vs $3800 (standard deviation: $923) after implementation, P = .008. In conclusion, the use of real-time pressure mapping decreased the morbidity and costs associated with HAPIs in BICU patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burns / economics*
  • Burns / epidemiology
  • Critical Care / economics*
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / statistics & numerical data
  • Intensive Care Units / economics*
  • Intensive Care Units / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pressure Ulcer / economics*
  • Pressure Ulcer / prevention & control
  • Retrospective Studies