This retrospective pressure ulcer prevention and treatment study compared healing rates for different support surfaces in nursing home residents. Support surface types were categorized into 3 groups: static overlays and replacement mattresses (1); low-air-loss beds, alternating pressure, and powered/non-powered overlays/mattresses (2); and air-fluidized beds (3). Mean healing rates were as follows: 5.2 cm2/wk (Group 3); 1.8 cm2/wk (Group 2); 1.5 cm2/wk (Group 1) (P=0.007 comparing Group 3 to 1 and 2). Mean healing rates were also significantly greater for stage III/IV ulcers on Group 3 surfaces. Groups 1 and 3 had fewer hospitalizations and ER visits compared to Group 2 (P=0.01).
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