Prevention of pressure ulcers (PUs) is becoming the focus of acute and
chronic care facilities for a variety of reasons beyond human suffering.
The literature demonstrates that pressure ulcer prevention (PUP)
reduces hospital stays, leads to less aggressive medical procedures,
yields substantial cost-benefit and lowers the risk for litigation. Infrared
thermography (IRT) is a noninvasive quantitative method for mapping
skin temperatures, which makes it effective and powerful in assessing
the microclimate conditions associated with a risk for PUs. This article
reviews current and potential future roles of IRT in mechanobiological
and clinical research of PUP and pressure ulcer treatment (PUT), and
presents relevant examples from studies by the authors’ group that are
currently under way with focus on measurements of skin microclimate
conditions caused by medical devices associated with device-related PUs
and assessment of polymeric membrane dressings and the microclimate
conditions developing in their PUP application. The authors further discuss
the potential for future use of IRT in PUP and PUT, and the strengths and
limitations of IRT in these applications in view of present global PUP efforts.

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