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L. Gunningberg,, C. Lindholm, M. Carlsson, P.-O. Sjdn
Journal of Wound Care, Vol. 9, Iss. 10, 01 Nov 2000, pp 455 - 460

This study had three aims: to investigate if visco-elastic foam mattresses are more effective than standard hospital mattresses in reducing the incidence of pressure ulcers in patients with hip fractures; to compare pressure ulcer grade and location and documented nursing prevention and treatment interventions in patients using the two types of mattresses; and to identify possible predictors of pressure ulcer development. <P>Using a prospective randomised controlled trial design 101 patients (mean age: 84 years) were randomly allocated either a visco-elastic foam mattress or a standard mattress. There was no significant difference in the incidence of pressure ulcers between the two groups, but patients on standard mattresses tended to develop more severe pressure ulcers. Furthermore, according to the documentation, patients with grade I pressure ulcers who were allocated a standard mattress received more preventive interventions, which may have reduced the differences in outcomes between the two groups. The researchers conclude that the results support the use of the test mattress. Significant predictors of pressure ulcer development were long waiting times for surgery and low haemoglobin levels at hospital admission

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