New clinically relevant method to evaluate the life span of prophylactic sacral dressings

Joshua N. Burton, Abigail G. Fredrickson, Cassidee Capunay, Laurel Tanner, Craig Oberg, Nick Santamaria, Amit Gefen, Evan Call

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


It has been demonstrated that wound dressings provide a protective effect against pressure injuries. However, no method exists to measure either the life or performance of dressings used in prevention; testing dressings in a clinical setting or a research environment has typically been based on measuring its moisture absorption capacity. This article examines the changes that occur in the structural and mechanical properties of a prophylactic dressing based on conditions of use when wound exudate is not present. A clinically relevant method was developed to simulate the loading, friction-inducing shear, and moisture transpiration present in a typical hospitalization where a dressing is applied for prevention. Single-use dressings were tested using this method to evaluate their ability to protect patients from pressure injuries throughout the typical 5 to 7 days of use. Following this aging process, researchers measured the physical, structural, and mechanical changes in prophylactic dressings over time. This innovative method provides guidance for clinicians on dressing use and replacement intervals. For bioengineers, the method generates important empirical data for computer modeling of dressing performance, which can then reveal the consequences of changes in dressing structure and function on sustained tissue loads. It is the authors hope to generate discussion about the creation of industry-wide standards for testing dressings to improve patient care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S14-S20
JournalAdvances in Skin and Wound Care
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2019


FundersFunder number
Mölnlycke Healthcare AB


    • Conformability
    • Pressure injury
    • Preventive dressings
    • Prophylactic dressings
    • Protective endurance
    • Sacral dressing
    • Stiffness
    • Wound dressing


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