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Ostomy Wound Manage. 2001 Sep;47(9):38-46.

"Constant force technology" versus low-air-loss therapy in the treatment of pressure ulcers.

Author information

  • 1Span-America Medical Systems Inc., Greenville, SC 29606, USA.

Erratum in

  • Ostomy Wound Manage 2001 Nov;47(11):6.


"Least costly but most effective" has never been more important to healthcare delivery than in the current healthcare environment of changing reimbursement systems. In wound care, the high costs associated with renting advanced support surfaces may be an area where expenses can be decreased if similar outcomes can be attained by using more affordable mattresses. This article compares the healing rates and eventual outcomes of wounds among two groups of patients randomly assigned to one of two support surfaces. A commonly used low-air-loss mattress was compared with the study mattress, an advanced, non-powered, air and foam surface. Subjects were patients admitted to either of two long-term healthcare settings for the treatment of wounds. The resulting two groups of 10 patients each were evenly matched for average age and percentage of patients who were nutritionally deficient as indicated by albumin or pre-albumin levels. The presence of gastrointestinal tubes and ventilator dependency also was recorded. Consistent wound care protocols were used on both groups, including turning schedules, nutrition, topical medication, and dressings. The study period covered a maximum of 8 weeks; interest was centered on the rate of wound healing and progress toward a goal rather than the length of time to completely close a wound. After 8 weeks, or upon discharge from the study pressure ulcers in the study mattress group closed at an average rate per week of 9.0% +/- 4.8 versus 5.0% +/- 3.7 in the low-air-loss mattress group. This study indicates that the study mattress can provide benefits to the wound healing process similar to or better than low-air-loss mattresses at a substantially reduced cost.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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