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The Promise of Topical Growth Factors in Healing Pressure Ulcers

David R. Thomas, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center; St. Louis, MO 63104.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.

Requests for Single Reprints: David R. Thomas, MD, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center, 1402 South Grand Boulevard, M238, St. Louis, MO 63104; e-mail, thomasdr@slu.edu.

Ann Intern Med. 2003;139(8):694-695. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-139-8-200310210-00013
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Pressure ulcers are serious complications of medical care, associated with increased mortality rates, higher comorbidity, and increased burden and cost of treatment (1). In 1997, among 265 acute care hospitals, the overall prevalence of pressure ulcers was 10.1% (range, 1.4% to 36.4%) (2). Up to 66% of orthopedic patients develop pressure ulcers of varying severity (3). Pressure ulcers are difficult to heal. Only 75% of stage 2 pressure ulcers and 17% of stage 3 or stage 4 pressure ulcers heal in 8 weeks (4). Up to 23% of stage 2 pressure ulcers and 48% of stage 4 pressure ulcers remain unhealed at 1 year (5).

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