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Polyurethane Foam Dressings for the Prevention of Pressure Ulcers: Clinical and Cost-Effectiveness and Guidelines

Published on: April 3, 2017
Project Number: RC0866-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Devices and Systems
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report

Question

  1. What is the clinical effectiveness of polyurethane foam dressings for the prevention of pressure ulcers?
  2. What is the cost-effectiveness of polyurethane foam dressings for the prevention of pressure ulcers?
  3. What are the evidence-based guidelines regarding the use of polyurethane foam dressings for the prevention of pressure ulcers?

Key Message

Evidence from two systematic reviews and three primary studies suggested that polyurethane foam dressings may reduce the incidence of pressure ulcers in at-risk adults in most settings. In contrast, the use of foam dressings during the pre-operative period for individuals with traumatic spinal cord injury showed no benefit and possible harm compared to standard care in a single non-randomized study. The use of polyurethane foam dressings for pressure ulcer prevention may result in cost savings in the acute care hospital setting, but results from the single cost-benefit analysis may not apply outside of the Australian context and should be interpreted with caution. Two guidelines were identified that provide weak recommendations, based on variable quality evidence, to consider the application of a polyurethane foam dressing to bony prominences (e.g., sacrum and heels) for the prevention of pressure ulcers, in addition to all other prophylactic measures that are part of standard care.

Tags

wounds and injuries, pressure ulcer, polyurethane, bedsore, skin lesion, foam