CLINICAL TRIAL
COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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A clinical comparison of two pressure-reducing surfaces in the management of pressure ulcers.

Decubitus 1992 May
The purpose of this study was to compare the clinical outcomes of pressure ulcers treated on a low-air loss bed and a foam mattress with loose-fitting top cover. The two-group, non-randomized study design consisted of a convenience sample of 20 subjects: 10 subjects treated on the low-air loss bed and 10 subjects treated on the foam mattress with loose-fitting top cover. Subjects were selected from among patients located in the medical/surgical, critical care, and the skilled nursing units of a metropolitan public teaching hospital. Descriptive data, laboratory data, pressure ulcer transparency drawing, and pressure ulcer photographs were obtained on each subject every seven days from two to four weeks. A one-way analysis of variance indicated that there was no statistically significant difference in the pressure ulcer outcomes of subjects treated on the low-air loss bed (Mediscus) compared to the pressure ulcer outcomes of subjects treated on the foam mattress with loose-fitting top cover (Comfortex). Analysis of covariance further indicated no statistically significant difference in the pressure ulcer outcome of subjects treated on either pressure-relieving surface according to the subjects': a) age, percent ideal body weight, presence of pressure ulcer infection; b) leukocyte count, total lymphocyte count, and albumin level; and c) level of sensory perception, moisture, activity, mobility, nutrition, friction, and shear. Results from this study indicate that the low-air loss bed and foam mattress with loose-fitting top cover provide comparable pressure ulcer outcomes. Implications for nursing and recommendations for further study are included in the text.

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