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Ostomy Wound Manage. 1999 Mar;45(3):34-40, 42-4.

A comparative study of an alternating air mattress for the prevention of pressure ulcers in surgical patients.

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Albany Medical Center, NY, USA.


Research indicates that 8.5% of all patients undergoing surgical procedures for more than 3 hours develop pressure ulcers. In some types of surgery, incidence rates in excess of 25% have been reported. An 11-month study was conducted on the safety and efficacy of an experimental alternating air device in comparison with a tertiary care facility's conventional practice. A series of 217 patients undergoing surgical procedures scheduled for a minimum of 3 hours were enrolled. No ulcers developed in the experimental group and 11 ulcers developed in seven patients in the control group (8.75% incidence rate). Of the 11 ulcers, one was Stage I, four were Stage II, and six were unstageable secondary to eschar. The difference between the groups is significant at the P = 0.005 level. Individuals who developed ulcers had a length of stay approximately 7 days longer than the hospital average for comparable patients who did not develop ulcers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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