Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
pressure ulcer, FSR, biomedical engineering, hospital acquired, prevention, HAPU
Hospital acquired pressure ulcers (HAPUs), also called bedsores, are damage to the skin and/or underlying tissue caused by prolonged pressure on the bony areas of the body, with around 20% of pressure ulcers occurring in the heel region. Currently, the most common practice for HAPU prevention is arbitrary manual repositioning of patients by nurses every 1-2 hours. The goal of our project was to address HAPUs in the heel region of low mobility patients through an ulceration risk sensing system. Our team has created a wearable ulceration risk assessment system that combines individual patient risk data with real time pressure data to determine overall HAPU risk level. This system includes a pressure sensor system embedded within a silicone foam dressing, which can be strapped around the heel. The pressure data is wirelessly sent to a computer display and combined with scores from the current risk assessment scale (Braden Scale) to create a real time HAPU risk assessment tool for clinicians. Based on our validation testing, the system accurately reads pressure at the heels and creates an accurate ulceration risk assessment tool. This tool, when fully developed, could lead to faster recovery time for patients, a decrease in the overall cost of patient treatment, and a decreased burden on nurses, allowing them to better optimize their time.
Beekman, Julia; Yeager, Jillian; and Morrissey, Megan, "An Improved Method for Hospital Acquired Pressure Ulcer (HAPU) Prevention" (2020). Honors Theses. 2479.