Aims and objectives:
The aim of this study is to compare whether differences exist between 2 viscoelastic foam support surfaces in the development of new pressure ulcers.
There is evidence to support the use of viscoelastic foam over standard hospital foam to reduce pressure. A comparative effectiveness study was done to compare 2 viscoelastic foam support surfaces.
A randomized controlled trial was carried out.
The study was performed in 2 intensive care units between October 1, 2008, and January 4, 2010. Patients (n = 105) admitted to intensive care unit were randomly assigned to viscoelastic foam 1 (n = 53) or viscoelastic foam 2 support surface (n = 52).
In total, 42.8% of all patients developed a new pressure ulcer of stage 1 or worse. By stages, pressure ulcer incidence was 28.6%, 13.3%, and 1.0% for stages 1, 2, and 3, respectively. There was no significant difference in pressure ulcer incidence between the viscoelastic foam 1 and 2 groups (X2 = 0.07, df = 1, P > .05).
No difference was found between 2 different viscoelastic foam surfaces in the prevention of pressure ulcers in patients treated in intensive care.
Relevance to Clinical Practice:
Pressure ulcer incidence in critically ill patients remains high. Nurses must compare current products for effectiveness and develop innovative systems, processes, or devices to deliver best practices.