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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2003 Dec;84(12):1733-42.

Healing of advanced pressure ulcers by a generic total contact seat: 2 randomized comparisons with low air loss bed treatments.

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  • 1Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, Greater Los Angeles VAMC, 16111 Plummer Street, Sepulveda, CA 91343, USA.



Randomized prospective cohort study.


Long-term care facilities.


Two hundred seven subjects with stage III or IV pressure ulcers.


Two separate randomized control studies of advanced pressure ulcers that compared wound healing on 3 different support surfaces. Subjects were allocated to low air loss bed, upgraded bed overlay (only in study 1), or 4h/d sitting on an experimental generic total contact seat. The seat was designed using prosthetics principles aimed at distributing pressure off bony prominences onto less pressure-sensitive areas. Subjects were followed for 6 months or until they were totally healed.


Number of subjects who totally healed, time to total healing, and pressure ulcer status score after 4 weeks of treatment. Interface pressures and functional capacity were also measured at 4 weeks.


In study 1, 3 subjects worsened on the bed overlay condition and were withdrawn from the study. None worsened on low air loss or generic total contact seat. At 4 weeks in both studies, pressure ulcer status score was lowest for the generic total contact seat (P<.0001), compared with the other surfaces. Subject populations were similar, so to analyze total healing, results from both studies were combined. Total healing of pressure ulcers occurred as early as 4 weeks in some subjects using the generic total contact seat. Even at 8 weeks, total healing was primarily seen with use of that seat, on which interface pressures, function, and seating tolerance were best.


Faster healing and better function indicate that treatment using the generic total contact seat is superior to low air loss bed therapy, which is standard care for advanced pressure ulcers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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