Do Prophylactic Foam Dressings Reduce Heel Pressure Injuries?

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Abstract

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this evidence-based report card is to examine the evidence and provide recommendations related to the effectiveness of prophylactic foam dressings in reducing heel pressure injuries.

QUESTION:

Do prophylactic foam dressings applied to the heel reduce heel pressure injuries for patients in the acute care setting?

SEARCH STRATEGY:

A search of the literature was performed by a trained university librarian that resulted in 56 articles that examined pressure injury, prevention, and prophylactic dressings. A systematic approach was used to review titles, abstracts, and text, yielding 13 studies that met inclusion criteria. Strength of the evidence was rated based on the methodology from Essential Evidence Plus: Levels of Evidence and Oxford Center for Evidence-Based Medicine.

FINDINGS:

Thirteen studies were identified that met inclusion criteria; 1 was a randomized controlled trial, 2 were systematic reviews, 3 quasi-experimental cohort studies, 1 quality improvement study, 1 case series, 1 scoping review, 1 consensus panel, and 3 bench studies. All of the studies identified suggest that the use of prophylactic foam dressings reduces the development of pressure injuries on the heel when used in conjunction with a pressure injury prevention program. The strength of the evidence for the identified studies was level 1 (4 level A, 4 level B, and 5 level C).

CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATION:

The use of prophylactic multilayer foam dressings applied to the heels, in conjunction with an evidence-based pressure injury prevention program, is recommended for prevention of pressure injuries on the heel (SORT level 1).

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