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Abstract

Pressure ulcers heal slowly and this often results in prolonged hospitalization. Wound infection delays healing in decubitus ulcers and standard treatment include wound dressing and use of antibiotics. However, there is increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of ultraviolet radiation (UVB) on the healing of decubitus ulcers. The study was also designed to learn the effect of UVR (Type B) on bacteria. Methods: Ten subjects with ascertained bilateral pressure sores (6 at the gluteal region and 4 at the heels) on the left lower extremities were recruited for this study. The left limbs (experimental limbs) were radiated with UVR (B) coupled with normal wound dressing while the right (control) limbs only received normal wound dressing for 6 weeks. The data were analyzed using descriptive and non-parametric inferential statistics (Kruska Wallis test). Results: There was 78.9% decrease in the mean surface area of the decubitus ulcers of the experimental (left) limbs while there was only 37.4% decrease in the mean surface area of the decubitus ulcers of the control (right) limbs. Similarly, there was 74.7% decrease in the mean volume of the decubitus ulcers of the experimental (left) limbs while there was only 46.3% decrease in the mean volume of decubitus ulcers of the control (right) limbs. The result of the Kruska Wallis test showed that there was significant decrease in the growth of bacteria (X² = 37.01, P<0.00) and significant increase in the growth of epithelial cells (X² = 36.65, P< 0.00) in the decubitus ulcers that were irradiated with UVR. Conclusion: It was concluded that ultraviolet radiation (Type B) had significant effects in destroying bacteria and also promoting wound healing.

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