Does a Foamy-Block Mattress System Prevent Pressure Sores? A Prospective Randomised Clinical Trial in 1729 Patients

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Abstract

Background:

Pressure ulcers are a frequent complication of bed rest. The development of an efficient and low cost pressure relieving system for the prevention of bed-sores would be of considerable hospital health and economic interest. Our study was designed to determine the effectiveness in pressure-sore prevention of an interface pressure-decreasing mattress, the Kliniplot® mattress, used in our institution since 1978.

Methods:

In a prospective randomised controlled 7-month clinical trial we compared the Kliniplot® mattress with our standard hospital mattress in 1729 patients admitted to medical and surgical departments (neurology, cardiology, oncology-haematology, neurosurgery, thoracic surgery and orthopaedic surgery). Two groups (Klinipot® mattress and standard hospital mattress) were monitored for the prevention of pressure sores. The patients were evaluated on a daily basis from their admission until the eventual occurrence of a bed-sore. Patients' characteristics and pressure-sore risk factors were similar at the baseline in both groups. Patients presenting with a pressure sore at the time of admission were excluded.

Results:

Forty-two of the 1729 patients (2.4%) who entered the study developed at least one pressure sore. Twenty-one of the 657 patients (3.2%) nursed on the Kliniplot® mattress, and 21 of the 1072 patients (1.9%) on the standard mattress developed bed-sores (p = 0.154). The median time for the occurrence of pressure sores was 31 days (range 6-87) with the Kliniplot® mattress and 18 days (range 2 to 38) with the standard mattress (p < 0.001). The risk categories for developing bed-sores using the modified Ek's scale were no different at the baseline between both groups (p = 0.764). The severity of the pressure sores was no different between both groups (p = 0.918).

Conclusions:

Our results show that the occurrence of pressure sores is not reduced but is delayed when patients are nursed on a Kliniplot® pressure-decreasing mattress.

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