A method for testing the effect of pressure-relieving materials in the prevention of pressure ulcers
Karlsmark T, Kristensen JK.
A method is described by which the effect of pressure and relief of pressure on blood flow in cutaneous and subcutaneous tissue can be evaluated. Five normal persons were placed supine on a transparent polyacrylate board and blood flow in the skin overlying the sacral area was measured. Cutaneous blood flow was measured by the laser-Doppler technique and subcutaneous blood flow was measured by the 133Xenon washout technique using atraumatic application. Blood flow was measured by both techniques before and after relief of pressure, using the antipressure material Comfeel Pressure Relieving Dressing (in the following referred to as Comfeel PRD) consisting of a foamy plastic material with an adjustable central opening. With this material, it was possible to obtain relief of pressure which was shown as a significant increase in blood flow measured by both methods. It is suggested that the methods described should be used to test other materials as well.