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Backrest Elevation Has No Effect on Sacral Tissue Integrity

FRIDAY, March 9, 2018 -- Level of backrest elevation is not associated with changes in tissue integrity among critically ill patients receiving mechanical ventilation, according to research published online March 1 in the American Journal of Critical Care.

Mary Jo Grap, R.N., Ph.D., from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, and colleagues describe the effect of backrest elevation on the integrity of sacral tissue in 84 critically ill adults receiving mechanical ventilation for at least 24 hours.

The researchers observed no significant difference among the proportions of time spent at <20 degrees (P values = 0.57 the first 24 hours, 0.17 the first 48 hours, and 0.81 the first 72 hours), 20 to 30 degrees (P values = 0.25 the first 24 hours, 0.08 the first 48 hours, and 0.25 the first 72 hours), or >30 degrees (P values = 0.62 the first 24 hours, 0.28 the first 48 hours, and 0.68 the first 72 hours) among patients with no injury, no change in injury, improvement in injury, or injury that worsened.

"Body positioning in critically ill patients receiving mechanical ventilation may not be as important or as effective as once thought," the authors write.

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Posted: March 2018