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Bruising in the Geriatric Population

NCJ Number
214649
Date Published
Author(s)
Laura Mosqueda, Kerry Burnight, Solomon Liao
Annotation
This study examined the occurrence, progression, and resolution of accidental bruising in a sample of adults ages 65 and older, in order to provide a knowledge base for the comparative identification of abusive bruising of elderly individuals.
Abstract
The findings indicate that accidental bruises occur in a predictable pattern in older adults. Nearly 90 percent of the accidental bruises were on the extremities; not a single accidental bruise was found on the neck, ears, genitals, buttocks, or soles of the feet. Although location was a significant factor in the characteristics of accidental bruises, initial color and color change over time were less distinctive. Individuals on medications known to have an influence on bruising were more likely to have multiple bruises. Also, those with physical disabilities were more likely to have multiple bruises. The study involved 101 subjects recruited from 3 community living settings and 2 skilled nursing facilities in Orange County, CA. The study sample was 66 percent female with an average age of 83. Forty-five percent of the participants required assistance with one or more activities of daily living. Each day over the period of the study, a trained interviewer examined each participant from head-to-toe for any bruises. If a bruise was present at the first visit, it was documented and excluded from the study. Any bruises that appeared on the second to the 14th day were documented and monitored until resolution or up to 6 weeks. Subjects and/or caregivers were asked what caused the bruise. Bruise characteristics documented were location, size, and color. Each bruise was re-examined at the same time each day. Data recorded for participants were age, gender, ethnicity, functional status, whether right-handed or left-handed, medical conditions, medications, cognitive status, depression, and history of falls. 3 tables, 3 figures, and 17 notes
Date Created: July 4, 2006