Skin Injuries and its Related Factors in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Document Type : Original Article


1 Student Research Committee, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Pediatric Nursing, Nursing and Midwifery School, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background: Skin is the most important defense mechanism of the neonate's body. The admission to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a risk factor for neonatal skin injuries. Therefore, to prevent these complications, it is essential to identify the risk factors. The present study aimed to investigate the incidence of skin injuries and its related factors in neonates admitted to the NICU.
Methods: This cohort study was conducted in two NICUs in one perinatal hospital in Tehran, Iran, from January 2018 to June 2018. The sampling was performed using the census method. The data were collected through a demographic characteristics form, a risk factor assessment checklist, and the European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (EPUAP) tool. The data were analyzed in SPSS software (version 19) through Fisher's exact test and chi-square test.
Results: Out of 368 neonates, 126 cases had skin injuries, and the others were healthy. The mean values of weight and age of the neonates with skin injuries were 796.68±1606.82 g and 5.18±30.82 days, which was significantly lower than those of the infants without skin injury (p <0.05). The results of the risk factors analysis also showed that the second-grade injuries were the most frequent. Moreover, the drug leakage (14.2%, n=33) and nasal continuous positive airway pressure (12.06%, n=28) had the highest prevalence. The results of the effect of risk factors on the wound grade also showed that drug leakage, diaper rash, and surgical injuries had a significant effect on the wound grade.
Conclusion: The results showed that in addition to neonatal conditions, equipment, and neonatal care play a significant role in the incidence of skin injuries. Skin is the most important defense barrier of the neonate's body and it is vitally important to take care of it. Therefore, it is necessary to identify and prevent such injuries.


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