Nutritional status, pressure sores, and mortality in elderly patients with cancer.

N. L. Waltman, N. Bergstrom, N. Armstrong, K. Norvell, B. Braden

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20 Scopus citations

Abstract

This prospective study aimed to determine differences in nutritional status, incidence of pressure sores, and incidence of mortality between two groups, one composed of 33 elderly, institutionalized patients with cancer and the other a matched group of 33 patients without cancer. Subjects with cancer were paired with subjects without cancer based on age (mean = 78), sex, and pressure sore risk. Skin breakdown, dietary intake, and blood and serum indices of nutritional status were studied for 12 weeks. Of the subjects with cancer, 85% developed pressure sores, compared to 70% of the subjects without cancer. Hemoglobin (Hgb) (female), serum total protein, total lymphocyte count, serum albumin, serum total iron binding capacity, and serum transferrin were significantly lower in subjects with cancer with pressure sores than in subjects without cancer with pressure sores. Total lymphocyte count and serum total protein were significantly lower in subjects with cancer with pressure sores than in subjects with cancer without pressure sores. Kwashiorkor was found in 70% of the subjects with cancer, compared to 21% of the subjects without cancer. During the study, 39% of the subjects with cancer and 15% of the subjects without cancer died. All 13 of the subjects with cancer who died had kwashiorkor and pressure sores and had died an average of three weeks after developing pressure sores. These results implicate that elderly patients with cancer who have protein deficiencies should be considered to be at risk of pressure sore development. Frequent repositioning and mattress overlays that reduce pressure and increase comfort may delay development of pressure sores.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)867-873
Number of pages7
JournalOncology nursing forum
Volume18
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)

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    Waltman, N. L., Bergstrom, N., Armstrong, N., Norvell, K., & Braden, B. (1991). Nutritional status, pressure sores, and mortality in elderly patients with cancer. Oncology nursing forum, 18(5), 867-873.