Eachempati et al identified risk factors for development of decubitus ulcers by surgical patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). These factors can help identify those patients who may require interventions to prevent development of the ulcers. The authors are from New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Risk factors:

(1) emergency admission

(2) age

(3) days in bed (ambulatory status)

(4) length of stay in the ICU


An emergency admission the most significant risk factor, showing an odds ratio of 36.


Based on the data in Table 4, the risk is associated with:

(1) age >= 69

(2) nonambulatory >= 12 days

(3) length of stay in the ICU >= 15 days (although the paper infers increased risk for a length of stay > 7 days)


While days without nutrition was also listed as a risk factor for development of decubitus ulcers, patients who developed ulcers went without nutritional support an average of 1.9 days vs 4.3 for the nonulcer group, with an odds ratio of 0.51. This might suggest that days without nutrition was protective. This is counter-intuitive and may reflect a clinical malnutrition in the ulcer group (with the need to start nutritional support sooner). For the implementation I have substituted malnutrition as a risk factor.

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