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A common tool for preventing bedsores also can predict recovery rates for liver transplant recipients, according to Cedars-Sinai investigators.

“We’ve made advances in liver transplantation so that people can live longer than ever. However, we have had no good way to assess whether patients will maintain a healthy lifestyle after transplant or be able to avoid disability,” says Vinay Sundaram, MD, assistant medical director of Liver Transplantation and the study’s principal investigator. “This tool can help us predict future health and take preventive measures.”

For the research, published in Liver Transplantation, the scientists reviewed records from Cedars-Sinai and the Oregon Health & Science University using the Braden Scale, which rates patients on their activity level, mobility, nutrition, and other measures of frailty.

The findings could help doctors identify which patients should receive physical therapy or other targeted interventions. More than 7,000 liver transplantations are performed each year in the U.S.