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J Wound Care. 1997 Jul;6(7):322-4.

Use of a fibrous dressing in exuding leg ulcers.

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  • 1Vascular Studies Unit, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.


In a multicentre, prospective, randomised trial of 44 patients with exuding leg ulcers, a new hydrofibre dressing was compared with an alginate dressing in terms of dressing performance, patient comfort, safety and cost-effectiveness. The groups were well matched with regard to sex and age. A statistically significant difference between treatment groups was observed in mean wear time, with a longer wear time of four days observed in the hydrofibre dressing group compared to three days in the alginate group. The hydrofibre dressing group therefore demonstrated a significantly lower frequency of dressing changes required per week. Significantly more patients achieved a seven-day wear time with the hydrofibre dressing than with the alginate dressing. There was no difference with regard to percentage change in ulcer area. Cost-effectiveness was based on the cost of dressings, compression therapy and nursing time to achieve a healed wound. However, because of small patient numbers, it was difficult to make an accurate comparison. This study suggests that the hydrofibre dressing may have clinical benefits that merit further investigation with larger patient numbers.

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