Sheepskins can help prevent sacral pressure ulcers

January 01, 0001

Sheepskins can help prevent sacral pressure ulcers

The aim of this study by authors from The Netherlands and Australia was to assess the effectiveness of the Australian Medical Sheepskin in preventing sacral pressure ulcers (PUs), based on combined data from existing published trials. Data from two randomised controlled trials (RCTs) among Australian hospital patients and one RCT among Dutch nursing home patients were pooled, comprising a total population of 1281 patients from 45 nursing wards in 11 institutions.

Overall, the incidence of sacral PUs was 12.2% in the control group versus 5.4% in the intervention group with an Australian Medical Sheepskin. Conventional meta-analysis showed significantly reduced odds of developing a PU while using the sheepskin (odds ratio,OR, 0.37). Multilevel analysis gave an OR of 0.35.

The researchers concluded: "These analyses of pooled data confirm that the Australian Medical Sheepskin is effective in preventing sacral PUs."

This would appear to be cost-effective for such a chronic problem, depending on the cost of the sheepskins and how frequently they need to be changed.

For the full abstract, click here.

MJA 193(11/12):638-641, 13 December 2010
© The Medical Journal of Australia 2010
A multilevel analysis of three randomised controlled trials of the Australian Medical Sheepskin in the prevention of sacral pressure ulcers. Patriek J Mistiaen, Damien J Jolley, Sunita McGowan, Mark B Hickey, Peter Spreeuwenberg and Anneke L Francke. Correspondence to Patriek Mistiaen: [email protected]

Category: S. Skin. Keywords: sheepskin, prevention, sacral pressure ulcers, multilevel analysis of randomised controlled trials, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 14 January 2011

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