Dressings and topical agents for preventing pressure ulcers (Review)

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Moore, Zena EH
Webster, Joan
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Background: Pressure ulcers, which are localised injury to the skin, or underlying tissue or both, occur when people are unable to reposition themselves to relieve pressure on bony prominences. Pressure ulcers are often difficult to heal, painful and impact negatively on the individual's quality of life. The cost implications of pressure ulcer treatment are considerable, compounding the challenges in providing cost effective, efficient health services. Efforts to prevent the development of pressure ulcers have focused on nutritional support, pressure redistributing devices, turning regimes and the application of various topical agents and dressings designed to maintain healthy skin, relieve pressure and prevent shearing forces. Although products aimed at preventing pressure ulcers are widely used, it remains unclear which, if any, of these approaches are effective in preventing the development of pressure ulcers.

Objectives: To evaluate the effects of dressings and topical agents on the prevention of pressure ulcers, in people of any age without existing pressure ulcers, but considered to be at risk of developing a pressure ulcer, in any healthcare setting.

Search methods: In February 2013 we searched the following electronic databases to identify reports of relevant randomised clinical trials (RCTs): the Cochrane Wounds Group Specialised Register; the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library); Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (The Cochrane Library); Ovid MEDLINE; Ovid MEDLINE (In‐Process & Other Non‐Indexed Citations); Ovid EMBASE; and EBSCO CINAHL.

Selection criteria: We included RCTs evaluating the use of dressings, topical agents, or topical agents with dressings, compared with a different dressing, topical agent, or combined topical agent and dressing, or no intervention or standard care, with the aim of preventing the development of a pressure ulcer.

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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

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© 2013 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by JohnWiley & Sons, Ltd. This review is published as a Cochrane Review in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, 8. Cochrane Reviews are regularly updated as new evidence emerges and in response to comments and criticisms, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews should be consulted for the most recent version of the Review.

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