The biomechanical protective effects of a treatment dressing on the soft tissues surrounding a non-offloaded sacral pressure ulcer

Dafna Schwartz, Amit Gefen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Patients who are immobile endure prolonged bodyweight-related compressive, tensional and shear loads at their body-support contact areas that over time may lead to the onset of pressure ulcers (PUs). Approximately, one-third of the common sacral PUs are severe and classified as category 3 or 4. If a PU has occurred, off-loading is the basic, commonly accepted clinical intervention; however, in many situations, complete off-loading of sacral PUs is not possible. Minimising the exposure of wounds and their surroundings to elevated mechanical loads is crucial for healing. Accordingly, in the present study, we aimed to investigate the biomechanical effects of the structural and mechanical properties of different treatment dressings on stresses in soft tissues surrounding a non-offloaded sacral PU in a supine patient. Using a novel three-dimensional anatomically realistic finite element modelling framework, we have compared performances of three dressing designs: (a) The Mepilex Border Sacrum (MBS) multilayer anisotropic silicone foam dressing (Mölnlycke Health Care), (b) an isotropic stiff dressing, and (c) an isotropic flexible dressing. Using our newly developed protective efficacy index (PEI) and aggravation index (AI) for assessing prophylactic and treatment dressings, we identified the anisotropic stiffness feature of the MBS dressing as a key design element.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)684-695
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Wound Journal
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2019

Funding

FundersFunder number
Molnlycke Health Care

    Keywords

    • computational modelling
    • deep tissue injuries
    • finite element analysis
    • sacral pressure injuries

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