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Lucy Zhao Celebrates Publication on the Causes of Pressure Injuries for Patients

Portrait of Lucy Zhao

Lucy Zhao, assistant professor for the School of Nursing is celebrating the publication of her article “Outcomes Associated With Stage two Pressure Injuries Among Surgical Critical Care Patients: A Retrospective Cohort Study” to the peer reviewed journal, Critical Care Nurse.

In collaboration with Jenny Alderden, a nurse researcher from the University of Utah, Zhao’s research examines the outcomes of pressure injuries among critical care patients that occur during hospital stays. The number of pressure injuries has grown and become a ‘very serious issue’ and there is not a lot of research about these types of injuries.

The study examines pressure injuries that are specifically categorized as stage two. This means that the injuries have broken the skin and worn away or formed an ulcer, making the injury very tender and painful. Zhao’s main focus was identifying the factors associated with stage two hospital-acquired pressure injuries for critical care patients. To identify factors, she examined health records data for surgical critical care patients with these hospital-acquired pressure injuries at a level one trauma center.

Of the 6,376 health records data for patients examined, Zhao found that 298 of them had developed stage two pressure injuries during their hospital stay. The factors that seemed to play a role in these pressure injuries were older age, higher levels of serum lactate and serum creatinine which measure the amount of lactic acid and creatinine in the blood, indicating issues in kidney function, and lower oxygenation levels.

Therefore, Zhao concluded that ‘nurses should be especially vigilant in treating pressure injury patients who are older, have altered oxygenation, or have evidence of slowed kidney function.’

Read the full article.

-By Taylor Music