Effectiveness of using a new polyurethane foam multi-layer dressing in the sacral area to prevent the onset of pressure ulcer in the elderly with hip fractures: A pragmatic randomised controlled trial

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Abstract

Hip fractures in the elderly are a serious problem for the health service due to the high rate of complications. One of these complications is pressure ulcers that, according to the literature, occur in 8.8% to 55% of patients and mainly arise in the sacral area. The present randomised controlled trial tests whether applying a new innovative multi-layer polyurethane foam dressing (ALLEVYN LIFE™), reduces the onset of pressure ulcers in the sacral area. From March to December 2016, 359 fragility hip fracture patients were randomly divided into 2 groups: 182 in the control group and 177 in the experimental group. Pressure ulcers occurred overall in 36 patients (10%): 8 patients (4.5%) in the experimental group compared to 28 (15.4%) in the control group: P = 0.001, relative risk 0.29 (95% CI 0.14–0.61) with NNT of 9 (95% CI 6–21). In the experimental group the onset of pressure ulcers occurred on average on the 6th day compared to the 4th day in the control group (HR 4.4). Using polyurethane foam is effective at reducing the rate of pressure ulcers in the sacrum in elderly patients with hip fracture. The adhesiveness of this device also enables costs to be kept down.

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