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Thread: pressure ulcer prevention evidence?

  1. #1

    pressure ulcer prevention evidence?

    I'm interested in what science / best practice says about:

    1) the effect of having the sheets tight over the mattress

    2) the effect of putting ointments on intact skin - apart from hydrating products on dry skin



  2. #2
    Sheet should not be so tight that they prevent you from properly sinking into a pressure reducing mattress. This is called hammocking, and it will increase the pressure on your skin. A well designed pressure reducing mattress provides support while also allowing your body to be partially surrounded by the surface, which increases the weight bearing surface area and distributes the weight better. Knit sheets are often recommended to help with this because they stretch. On the other hand you don't want wrinkles under you, so sheets should be smooth. Some pressure reducing mattresses are designed to be used without sheets and have anti-shear and Staph-check type covers already, so it is important to find out what is recommended by the mattress manufacturer.

    Topical products applied to the epidermis (the dead cell part of your skin) will not prevent pressure ulcers. "Toughening" the skin with products such as alcohol or tincture of benzoin is a myth and has no scientific basis. Pressure ulcers occur from disruption of the blood supply deep in the skin (in the dermis or deeper). On the other hand, excessively dry skin can be problematic as cracking can be an area that allows bacteria to invade the skin surface. A lubricating lotion or moisturizer that contains urea is usually best.


  3. #3
    I am 15 years postinjury. I have used Granulex Spray on my butt since I was discharged from the hospital/rehab. I will admit when we asked the doctor for the prescription he said it was an old drug but wasn't against us using it. My mother had worked at a mental retardation facility for 15 years and they used the product on a regular basis. The residents which had developed any type of pressure sores were always in the single digits.
    So, coincidence, skin management, or pressure reduction you be the judge.
    Myself, with using it in my daily routine my theory is don't fix it if it isn't broke.

  4. #4
    Boy, they saw you coming! This is tincture of balsam. Has no value at all on intact skin, and questionable value in any breakdown. They do have a good marketing program though! We have never used it since I have been here (20 years). Our rate of acquired pressure ulcers is tiny. Again, other than to protect from moisture (when something like 3M No-Sting Protective Barrier Spray or Swabs are far superior), there is NO value in putting things on the skin surface to prevent pressure ulcers. Doesn't and can't work.


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