More expensive surfaces are not always better

Stephanie A. Valente, William B. Greenough, Sharon L. DeMarco, Ross E. Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: To assess efficacy of two support surfaces RIK® gel mattress and a Power Air® overlay in preventing and healing pressure ulcers Design: Retrospective analysis of patient records Setting: An academic affiliated 240-bed long-term care facility in Baltimore, MD, USA Subjects and Method: All patients with pressure sores at the start of the study were included. One hundred and twenty-two patient records and weekly wound measurements on 173 pressure ulcers done by a dedicated team of wound nurses and technicians were retrospectively analyzed. The two surfaces studied were assigned by the respective physicians and nurses of each unit. Intervention: None. Results: The two patient groups were comparable at the start of the study. One third of all patients developed one or more wounds during the study period or 48% of all ulcers studied. Healing rates were similar for both surfaces. New stage II ulcers were most common. There was a trend toward higher risk in patients assigned to the Power Air overlay mattress. Patients assigned to the gel mattress developed pressure ulcers less frequently than those on the Power Air overlay; however, the Power Air overlay tended to heal more ulcers. Controlling for the total amount of time each group spent on the respective mattresses, the efficacy of the gel surface in preventing new ulcers equaled or outweighed the benefit of the Power Air overlay. Since the gel fluid mattress is less costly we would favor the use of the gel mattress system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-45
Number of pages6
JournalKuwait Medical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Gel fluid surfaces
  • Power air surfaces
  • Pressure sores

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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