Pressure-Time Profile Analysis to Select Surfaces that Effectively Redistribute Pediatric Occipital Pressure.
ulcers are a hospital-acquired condition with reported incidence of up to 27% in acutely
ill infants and children, who are particularly vulnerable during long periods of
immobilization. Pressure is a key risk factor for pressure ulcer formation and
pressure-redistributing surfaces are used in the clinical setting to mitigate this risk.
However, there is a lack of informatio... read moren on the most effective surfaces available to
redistribute pressure in pediatric patients, especially because the occiput is the
highest risk location for pediatric patients, while the sacrum and heels are at highest
risk for adults. The aim of this research is to evaluate the pressure-redistributing
properties of surfaces used to redistribute pressure under the bony prominence of the
occiput of hospitalized pediatric patients through pressure mapping experiments on
healthy children. A commercially available pressure mapping system is validated for use
in the pediatric population through studies on sensitivity, accuracy, creep and
repeatability. Then, the capacitive pressure sensor is used to measure mean peak
pressure and contact area between the occipital region of the skull of children under 6
years old and each of four pressure-redistributing surfaces: gel, foam, fluidized, and
air cushion. Lastly, finite element analysis is performed to simulate the pressure
generated on the occiput during contact with a foam surface for two loading conditions.
Predictions from the finite element model are compared to experimental pressure mapping
data. The results of this study provide clinical recommendations for pediatric pressure
ulcer prevention protocols.
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2015.
Submitted to the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Advisor: Thomas James.
Committee: Daniel Hannon, Gary Leisk, and Donald Lombardi.
Keywords: Mechanical engineering, Medicine, and Health sciences.read less