Intended for healthcare professionals


Overlays or mattresses to prevent pressure sores?

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 15 June 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1401
  1. Luke Vale, senior research fellow,
  2. David W Noble, consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care (
  1. Health Economics Research Unit and Health Services Research Unit, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD
  2. Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen AB25 2ZN

    Mattresses are more likely to be cost effective and patients prefer them

    In this issue of the BMJ (pp 1413, 1416) the Pressure Trial Group reports the results of a randomised controlled trial of two methods of preventing pressure ulcers and an economic analysis of that trial.1 2 The European Pressure Advisory Panel defines a pressure ulcer as an area of localised damage to the skin and underlying tissue caused by pressure, shear, friction, or a combination of these.3 Regardless of aetiology the problem of pressure ulcers in poorly mobile patients is common and can be encountered in many health settings, including at home, in community care, and in intensive care.46 Incidence varies from 0% to 17% for home care, 2.2% to 23.9% for long term care, 0.4% to 38% for hospitals, and 8% to 79% for intensive care.5 6

    Pressure ulcers are a …

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