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Researchers study pressure ulcers with computer simulation

Patients in Colorado with spinal cord injuries are more vulnerable to pressure ulcers due to their impaired movement. Pressure ulcers are lesions that develop on patients' bodies when they spend a great deal of time lying down. According to a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, tissues in immobile patients do not receive an adequate supply of oxygen. When an immobile patient is moved, blood flow in the patient's body resumes suddenly, and a pressure ulcer may develop because of inflammation.

Medical researchers from the University of Pittsburgh have developed a computer simulation program aimed at improving outcomes for the 2.5 million Americans affected by pressure ulcers each year. By studying photos of pressure ulcers at various stages and inputting these photos into a computer system, researchers were able to use simulation to test the effectiveness of potential interventions.

After testing potential interventions for pressure ulcers in two virtual trials, researchers determined that anti-inflammatory treatments were required very early in a pressure ulcer's development. Researchers say that unless anti-inflammatory interventions are used early on, they do little to improve the patient's outcome. One of the doctors involved in the study said that he hopes the computer model can be used in the future to predict the best treatment methods for pressure sores.

Vulnerability to pressure ulcers is just one of the many consequences of a spinal cord injury. People who have suffered from severe spinal cord injuries also experience pain and spasms, and they often lose their ability to live independent lives. If a spinal cord injury was the result of another party's negligent actions, a lawyer may be able to help the victim to seek financial compensation.

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