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detecting pressure ulcers, thermal imaging in pressure ulcer detection, Braden Scale versus thermal imaging to detect pressure ulcers



  1. Judy, David DO
  2. Brooks, Brian BBA
  3. Fennie, Kristopher PhD, MPH
  4. Lyder, Courtney ND, GNP, FAAN
  5. Burton, Claude MD, FAAD


OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to evaluate a novel infrared imaging device coupled with an intelligent software interface that may provide a more objective means of identifying anatomical sites at risk for pressure ulcer (PrU) development as compared with the Braden Scale for Predicting Pressure Sore Risk.


DESIGN: Repeated-measures design.


SETTING: Duke University Medical Center.


PARTICIPANTS: One hundred patients admitted to a medical unit at risk for PrUs.


MAIN RESULTS: Only 5 participants developed early stage PrUs (Stages I and II). However, the infrared imaging device not only predicted all 5 participants to be at risk, but also predicted the anatomical location where the ulcer would develop. The Braden Scale correctly identified 3 of 5 participants who developed PrUs. It was also determined that a temperature variance of 1.5[degrees] C was able to accurately predict PrU development.


CONCLUSION: Infrared imaging using intelligent software may become a promising, objective method for identifying incipient PrUs and provide clinicians with specific anatomical locations for increased preventive interventions.