Facial ulcers in patients with COVID-19 admitted to ICU: Review of the evidence

Jaime Moreno Madueño, Lynn Sayer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: Many patients with COVID-19 admitted to intensive care undergo prone positioning. These patients are at risk of developing facial pressure ulcers (PUs). This study aimed to identify evidence-based recommendations to prevent or reduce their incidence. Method: A multi-case study was undertaken using secondary data published between November 2020 and April 2021 discussing facial PUs in patients with COVID-19. CINAHL and MEDLINE electronic databases were analysed. Sixteen publications met the inclusion criteria. The overall quality of evidence was low. Result: Studies reported a high incidence of facial PUs. The evidence suggests key preventive areas are skin assessment, pressure-redistribution surfaces, eye coverings, education, medical devices and prophylactic dressings. Recommendations included skin cleaning and moisturising, eye coverings, replacing endotracheal tube holders and using hydrocolloid or film dressings. Conclusion: Considering the severe implications for patients and healthcare systems caused by facial PUs, ICUs should develop strategies to prevent and minimise them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S22-S32
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2022


  • Causative factors
  • COVID-19 patients
  • Facial pressure ulcers
  • Intensive care
  • Prevention


Dive into the research topics of 'Facial ulcers in patients with COVID-19 admitted to ICU: Review of the evidence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this