Upon finding an alarming increase in the number of pressure ulcers reported with children, a plan was put forward at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to reduce the number of bedsore incidents.

There are four main stages in the advancement of bedsores, researchers found:

  1. reddening of the skin
  2. blistering or open sore formation
  3. opening of the ski, with accumulating tissue damage
  4. deepening of the wound, with bone, tendon, and bone damage

The Cincinnati researchers discovered that most of the pressure ulcers in the children occurred because of the medical devices they were using, such as face masks, tracheotomy tubes, and pulse oximeters. That meant that kids who were critically ill were the ones with the highest chance of getting bedsores.

While the sacrum, the largest bony area, is the most common location for pressure ulcers in adults, in the pediatric population, the occiput is the largest bony prominence and the most common site of pressure ulcer development, Baharestani and Ratliff explain in an NPUAP white paper. Patients with spina bifida and cerebral palsy have an increased risk of pressure ulcers because of their impaired mobility, and children undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass surgeries are at increased risk as well.

“Pressure ulcer prevalence rates as high as 27% in pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) and as high as 23% in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) have been reported,” Baharestani and Ratliff said, with most pressure injuries occurring within the first two days of admission.

At Action Products, an entire line of products specifically designed for pediatric surgery is offered, each available in different sizes from neo-natal to bariatrics, all designed to aid positioning and lessen shear. Positioners are designed to protect the child’s entire chest area from pressure while in the prone position, while having infinite utility as positioners for many other procedures.

Since the key element in Action Products, in fact, is a gel material called Akton® viscoelastic polymer, it is an ideal choice in the quest to prevent pediatric pressure ulcers.