Bed Sore Studies

Although a completely preventable condition, bed sores still require a lengthy and painful treatment process. However, academics are conducting current research to increase healing times and decrease the reappearance of healed sores.

A Pilot Study of the Envision Surface

Sponsored by Hill-Rom, this 2007 study examines the safety and effectiveness of the Envision, a surface designed to expedite pressure ulcer healing through five key factors: shear, friction, immobility, microclimate management, and pressure. Researchers chose 30 participants with pressure ulcers or at risk of pressure ulcers to rest on Envision surfaces.

According to the findings, researchers discovered that:

  • Patients with pressure ulcers experienced a significant decrease while laying on Envision surfaces.
  • Ulcer volume decreased by an average of 41%
  • Ulcer area decreased by an average of 5%
  • No new pressure ulcers developed

Hematopoietic Stem Cell Therapy in Chronic Wounds Using a Pressure Sore Model

University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland sponsored this study examining the potential effects of stem cell treatment on pressure ulcers to accelerate and enhance wound healing. Researchers studied 5 patients with pressure ulcers in a pilot study and reevaluated their conditions through this study design:

  • First, researchers performed a surgical intervention to debride the pressure sore and isolate stem cells.
  • Next, researchers gave participants stem cell therapy on one-half of their wound surfaces and a control saline solution on the other half.
  • Then, researchers performed a second surgery that removed the wound.
  • Finally, researchers monitored wound healing through laser imaging, clinical treatment, and other methods.

The researchers have not yet reported their findings for this study.

Interdisciplinary Pressure Management & Mobility Program as an Alternative to Usual Care: A Pilot Study (WOUND)

The University of Western Ontario, Canada, sponsored this study along with a collaborator, the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation. The study examined alternative pressure ulcer treatments for people suffering from spinal cord injuries (SCI), which increase a person's risk of developing pressure ulcers. According to the research, nearly 82% of people with SCIs develop pressure ulcers. The researchers tested the effectiveness of an individualized, community-based pressure management program as compared to normal bed rest treatment.

The individualized treatment program included the following components:

  • An in-depth home assessment by a registered therapist
  • An analysis of home surfaces
  • Identification of equipment and services needed to reduce pressure and friction, and improve patient mobility
  • Development of a customized, safe mobility program to increase strength, independence, and balance

Oxandrolone to Heal Pressure Ulcers

The Department of Veterans' Affairs sponsored this study, which examined the effects of the man-made steroid oxandrolone on pressure ulcer healing in 779 veterans with bed sores. The participants went through a round of standard bedsore treatment and those with unhealed sores underwent additional treatment. One group received a placebo and the other received a daily dose of 20 mg of oxandrolone.

The study found that:

  • Oxandrolone has little potential impact on pressure ulcer healing rates.
  • 24% of patients in oxandrolone group saw healed bed sores.
  • 17% of patients with oxandrolone maintained healed ulcers after the study.
  • 15% of the placebo group maintained healed bed sores.

Pilot Study of Incident and Change in Existing Pressure Ulcers: TC500 Bed Compared With Standard Beds

This study, sponsored by Hill-Rom, examined pressure ulcer rates and change in existing sores for patients placed on standard ICU beds and a specialized bed known as TC500. Researchers studied 52 participants placed on the different beds receiving standard prevention care and daily skin assessments.

Study of Thymosin Beta 4 in Patients With Pressure Ulcers

A study sponsored by RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals Inc. examined the effectiveness of Thymosin Beta 4, a naturally occurring protein in the human body. The researchers applied a synthetic version of this protein topically to the participants' skin. The researchers examined the effectiveness of this substance in reducing pressure ulcers in 72 participants. One-half of the participants received a placebo and one-half received Thymosin Beta 4 at three doses.

The Use of Specialized Amino Acid Mixture in Pressure Ulcer Wound Healing Rates - A Placebo Controlled Trial

Sponsored by Changi General Hospital, in collaboration with Abbott, this study examined the effects of a specialized mixture for treating severe pressure ulcers. The amino acid mixture contained the following substances:

  • 7 grams of Arginine
  • 7 grams of Glutamine
  • 1.2 grams of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB)

26 participants participated in this study, all of which had non-healing pressure ulcers at stage II or higher. Half of the group received a placebo and the other half received the amino acid mixture as a dietary supplement. The study looked for three outcome measures:

  • Percentage of viable (healthy) and non-viable (dead or unhealthy) tissue
  • Percentage of wound area after week 1
  • Percentage of wound area after week 2

The study found that:

  • Patients receiving the amino acid mixture had 43.06% of viable tissues, compared to 25.94% of placebo patients.
  • Patients receiving the amino acid mixture saw a 15.37% reduction in wound area after week 1.
  • Patients receiving the amino acid mixture saw a 27.5% reduction in wound area after week 2.

Do you have a loved one suffering from pressure ulcers because of nursing home neglect? Contact Nursing Home Law Center LLC to discuss your case and to receive a free evaluation today.


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