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Pressure ulcer prevention and treatment: use of prophylactic dressings

Authors Reid K, Ayello EA, Alavi A

Received 1 December 2014

Accepted for publication 5 March 2015

Published 11 October 2016 Volume 2016:3 Pages 117—121


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Marco Romanelli

Kathleen Reid,1 Elizabeth A Ayello,2 Afsaneh Alavi,3
1Department of Nursing Practice and Education, Bridgepoint Active Healthcare, Toronto, Canada; 2School of Nursing, Excelsior College, Albany, NY, USA; 3Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Abstract: The management of pressure ulcers is challenging for health care providers across disciplines. Pressure ulcers have significant impact on emotional and physical wellbeing, quality of life, and health care costs. The use of wound dressings could be an important and cost-effective strategy in preventing pressure ulcers. The main types of dressings that are examined for this purpose in the literature are foam, hydrocolloid, and films. Some small studies have shown a preventative role for sacral dressings with low-shear backings, though they raise concerns about over-hydration of the skin. Further research demonstrates the application of barrier films over bony prominences to have a prophylactic effect; however, adhesive dressings can also contribute to shearing forces on the skin. There is a vast body of research that examines the use of dressings to prevent pressure ulcers; however, there is limited high-level evidence, such as randomized control trials. A 2013 Cochrane review indicated that there is a paucity of high-level evidence to support the prophylactic use of dressings to prevent pressure ulcers; this paper will examine the emerging literature and consider its relevance to pressure ulcer prevention protocols.

Keywords: quality of life, hydrocolloid dressing, topical agent

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