Protein change explains why pressure ulcers are 'not entirely preventable' among seniors, researchers say

Share this article:
Protein change explains why pressure ulcers are 'not entirely preventable' among seniors, researcher
Protein change explains why pressure ulcers are 'not entirely preventable' among seniors, researcher

Elderly people's lack of protective skin proteins makes pressure ulcer prevention difficult, according to newly published research.

A team from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine developed a first-of-its-kind mechanical pressure model to test skin samples from younger people (ages 29-35) and older people (ages 54-60).

When subjected to pressure, the younger skin produced protective inflammasome proteins, the researchers found. The proteins were still present at elevated levels after four hours of continuous static pressure. The older skin had lower levels of inflammasome, which did not increase under pressure, leading to significant tissue breakdown within two hours. 

“These data demonstrate that load/pressure triggers specific tissue response in skin, morphological changes and rapid inflammatory response that may not be entirely preventable,'' the researchers wrote.

However, the findings should not discourage caregivers from continuing with robust pressure ulcer prevention programs, the researchers stated. Instead, caregivers should focus on acting quickly at the earliest signs of a pressure ulcer and should recognize the special risk factors associated with age.

Their findings will hopefully lead to new treatments for pressure ulcers, the researchers added.

Click here to access the full article, published Tuesday in PLOS One.

Share this article:

More in News

Giving nurses more control over their schedules could lower pressure ulcer rates, findings suggest

Giving nurses more control over their schedules could ...

Nursing homes might be able to cut their pressure ulcer rates by giving nurses more control over when they work, according to findings forthcoming in the Journal of Applied Gerontology.

Nursing homes tend to administer high-risk medications to returning residents, study shows

Nursing homes may be ratcheting up high-risk medication use for certain residents who return to the facility after a stay in the hospital, according to recently published findings.

Nursing home agrees to $225,000 settlement over charges of asbestos exposure

A California nursing home has agreed to a $225,000 settlement over charges that it did not handle asbestos properly during a renovation, according to local news sources.