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Ostomy Wound Manage. 1995 Oct;41(9):50-6.

Skin temperature and moisture management with a low air loss surface.


Important factors in the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers are the maintenance of the physiological conditions of skin temperature and skin moisture level. Low air loss (LAL) therapy is a method of maintaining these conditions. The changes in the skin temperature and skin moisture level with an LAL support system were compared to those with a standard hospital mattress (SHM). The study was conducted on ten volunteers in the supine position for three hours in warm ambient room conditions. Skin temperature was measured continuously. The moisture level of the skin was determined using direct and indirect indicators. The results showed that, on the average, the skin temperature on the LAL system was 1.2 degrees F lower than that on the SHM (p = 0.0001). With the Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate skin moisture indicator, the moisture gain above normal with the LAL system was 87 percent lower than that with the SHM (p = 0.01). Similarly, with the conductance skin moisture indicator the conductance increase above normal with the LAL system was 96 percent lower than that with the SHM (p = 0.01). These results demonstrated the ability of the LAL system to maintain normal skin temperature and moisture content and aid in the protection against skin damage.

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