Current Thoughts for the Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers: Using the Evidence to Determine Fact or Fiction

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Abstract

Objective:

To use an evidenced-based approach to better understand the management and treatment of pressure ulcers.

Background:

Pressure sores are a cause of significant morbidity in the medical community. Although there are a multitude of preventative and treatment options, there remains some degree of uncertainty in the literature in defining the best way to treat and manage pressure sores.

Methods:

An exhaustive literature search was performed using several electronic databases. The search revealed several identified modalities for treatment and/or prevention of pressure ulcers. We then assessed each modality individually for the level of evidence that exists in the most current literature, with preference given to more recent studies (2005 to present).

Results:

We reviewed the most relevant, high-level evidence that exists for the following modalities for understanding, preventing, and treating pressure ulcers: wound cleansers, repositioning, negative pressure therapy, debridement, enteral and parenteral feeding, vitamin and mineral supplementation, specialized mattresses, ultrasound therapy, honey, cellular therapy, musculocutaneous and fasciocutaneous flap closure, and other miscellaneous therapies.

Conclusions:

Although many of these modalities are used, we encourage clinicians and health care providers to consider the evidence-based data when deciding how to most appropriately manage their patients' pressure sores.

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