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Long term pressure recordings under the ischial tuberosities of tetraplegics


Five ulcer free tetraplegic subjects who are unable to do lift-offs were studied on four separate days on two types of wheelchair cushions to measure the pressures underneath the ischial tuberosities. Small electrical pressure transducers and a tape-recorder were utilised.

The average pressures on the ROHO and foam cushions were 71.5 and 105.4 mmHg respectively. The average time between push-ups greater than 1 second and greater than 5 seconds was 72.1 and 96.2 minutes. The average pressures and the time between push-ups was greatly in excess of the usually suggested skin care regime. The data would suggest that the relative importance of pressure and pressure relief in the aetiology of decubitus ulcers should be re-examined.


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Additional information

This study was supported in part by grant 16-P-56810 (5-19) from the Office of Human Development, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C.

Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, St Paul-Ramsey Medical Center, St Paul, Minnesota 55101

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Fisher, S., Patterson, P. Long term pressure recordings under the ischial tuberosities of tetraplegics. Spinal Cord 21, 99–106 (1983).

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  • Spinal cord injury
  • Decubitus ulcers
  • Pressure recordings

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