Association between presence of pneumonia and pressure ulcer formation following traumatic spinal cord injury

Shilpa Krishnan, Patricia E. Karg, Michael L. Boninger, David M. Brienza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine if the presence of pneumonia and pressure ulcers are associated in individuals with an acute spinal cord injury during acute care and rehabilitation hospitalizations. Design: Retrospective, secondary analyses of data obtained from the Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems enrolled from 1993 until 2006 Setting: Acute care hospitalization and inpatient rehabilitation facilities Participants: A cohort of individuals hospitalized in acute care (n = 3,098) and inpatient rehabilitation (n = 1,768) was included in the analysis. Frequencies of pressure ulcer formation and episodes of pneumonia were noted in both settings. Interventions: Not applicable. Outcome Measures: Pressure ulcer formation and diagnosis of pneumonia Results: The development of pressure ulcers, including stage I, was 20.3% acute care and 21.1% during in inpatient rehabilitation. Multivariate logistic regression analyses revealed a significant association of pneumonia with occurrence of pressure ulcers (P ≤ 0.001, OR = 2.3 and 2.2 respectively), the American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale grades (P < 0.001), and utilization of mechanical ventilation (P < 0.01) in both settings. Conclusion: A higher presence of pressure ulcers was found in individuals with pneumonia, after adjusting for injury severity, age, sex, and utilization of mechanical ventilation. Impaired inflammatory response and decreased mobility in individuals with pneumonia may predispose these individuals to develop pressure ulcers. Surveillance and preventive measures for pressure ulcers should be rigorous in individuals with SCI and pneumonia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-422
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 4 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute hospitalization
  • Inpatient
  • Pneumonia
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Rehabilitation
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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