Pressure ulcer assessment tool

A scanner that measures subepidermal moisture (SEM) has been tested to assess its inter-rater and inter-device agreement and reliability.

The SEM Scanner was designed to help prevent pressure ulcers. It measures changes in SEM, a measure of localised oedema, which indicates tissue damage and the risk of developing pressure ulcers.
Using the device, the US study assessed 31 healthy participants who did not have pressure ulcers. Three operators used three devices in turn to assess four anatomical sites (sternum, sacrum, and left and right heels) on each participant.
Three SEM readings were collected for each combination of operator-device-anatomical site, and inter-operator and inter-device agreement were measured.
More than 3,000 SEM readings were collected during the study. Agreement between operators was good, with mean differences ranging from minus 0.01 to 0.11. Inter-operator and inter-device reliability exceeded 0.80 at all of the anatomical sites assessed.
The results suggest the device is a reliable tool for assessing the presence or absence of pressure-induced tissue damage, such as pressure ulcers.
Clendenin M, Jaradeh K, Shamirian A et al. J Tissue Viability February 3, 2015. doi: 10.1016/j.jtv.2015.01.003
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