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March 10, 1934


Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery of Northwestern University Medical School, Cook County Hospital and the Wesley Memorial Hospital.

JAMA. 1934;102(10):751-752. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.02750100017004

Decubitus, or pressure sore, is the result of local impaired nutrition, frequently in a person whose tissues have a lowered resistance because of age, disease, injury or nerve involvement. Such lesions are initiated by pressure and often aided by some slight injury or by irritation from urine, feces or perspiration. While the lesion often occurs in paralyzed parts, it is by no means limited to patients with nerve involvement. The soft tissues over bony prominences are the common location of these ulcers; but with the widespread use of casts, splints and skin traction few parts of the body surface are exempt. Pressure produces a local ischemia with subsequent thrombosis, death of tissue and ulcer formation.

Prophylaxis is the ideal procedure. Such measures as frequently changing the position of the patient, massage, dusting powders including lead tannate,1 cleanliness and protection of susceptible parts are of the utmost importance.

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