pressure ulcers dressings And what treatments

pressure ulcers dressings، Pressure ulcers, also known as decubitus ulcers, are localized areas of skin or underlying tissue injury, or both. Dressings are widely used for the treatment of pressure ulcers and there are many different options of dressings, including hydrogel dressings. A clear summary of current tests is needed to facilitate decision making regarding the use of dressings for the treatment of pressure ulcers.

pressure ulcers dressings

Selection criteria

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published or unpublished comparing the effects of hydrogel dressings with alternative wound dressings or no dressing in the treatment of pressure ulcers (stage II or greater).

Main results

We included 11 studies (523 participants) in this review. Ten studies had two arms and one had three arms, all relevant for this review. Three studies compared a hydrogel dressing with a basic wound contact dressing; three studies compared a hydrogel dressing with a hydrocolloid dressing; three studies compared a hydrogel dressing with another hydrogel dressing; one study compared a hydrogel dressing with a foam dressing; One study compared a hydrogel dressing with a dextranomer paste dressing and one study compared a hydrogel dressing with a topical treatment (collagenase). Limited data were available for analysis in this review: no meta-analysis was performed. When there was data available there was no evidence of a difference between the hydrogel and alternative treatments in terms of complete wound healing or adverse events. A small study reported that the use of hydrogel dressings was, on average, less expensive than hydrocolloid dressings, although this calculation was not precise and the methodology was not clear. All included studies were small, had short follow-up periods and uncertain risk of bias.

Authors conclusion

It is not clear if hydrogel dressings are more or less effective than other treatments for healing pressure ulcers or if different hydrogels have different effects. Most trials in this area are very small and have poor reports, so the risk of bias is uncertain.


Pressure ulcers, also known as decubitus ulcers, are areas of injury to the underlying skin or tissue, or both. Pressure ulcers can be painful, can become infected and affect the quality of life. Patients at risk for pressure ulcers include those with spinal cord injuries and those who are immobile or have limited mobility such as some elderly people and patients with acute or chronic conditions. In 2004 it was estimated that the total annual cost of treatment of pressure ulcers in the United Kingdom was GBP 1 400 000 000 to 2 100 000 000; which was equivalent to 4% of total NHS spending. It has been observed that pressure ulcers increase the length of hospital stay and the associated hospital costs. The figures of the USA they indicate that ”

Dressings are a treatment option for pressure ulcers. There are many types of dressings that can be used; they can vary considerably in terms of cost. Hydrogel dressings are a type of dressing available. Hydrogel dressings contain a large amount of water that keeps the ulcers moist instead of allowing them to dry out. It is believed that wet wounds heal faster than dry wounds. In this study we investigated whether there is evidence that pressure ulcers treated with hydrogel dressings heal faster than those treated with other types of dressings or skin surface treatments (topical).

What was found

In June 2014 we searched all the relevant medical studies that had a consistent design (randomized controlled trials) and that had compared hydrogel dressings with other treatments for pressure ulcers. We found 11 studies with a total of 539 participants. From the results of these studies, it was not possible to establish whether wound hydrogel dressings heal pressure ulcers more quickly or more slowly than other types of dressings or topical treatments.

In general, the studies found were small and the results were inconclusive. Some studies lacked information about how they were performed and it was difficult to establish if the results presented were consistent. More research studies of better quality are needed before we can determine whether hydrogel dressings are better or worse for the healing of pressure ulcers than other types of dressings or topical treatments.

Implications for practice

A comprehensive review of current tests found no reliable evidence that hydrogel dressings increase or reduce the healing of pressure ulcers compared to other dressings. Therefore, healthcare professionals may choose to consider other characteristics such as costs and properties in terms of symptom control when choosing between dressing options.