Enhancing pressure ulcer prevention using wound dressings: what are the modes of action?

Evan Call*, Justin Pedersen, Brian Bill, Joyce Black, Paulo Alves, C. Tod Brindle, Carol Dealey, Nick Santamaria, Michael Clark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Recent clinical research has generated interest in the use of sacral wound dressings as preventive devices for patients at risk of ulceration. This study was conducted to identify the modes of action through which dressings can add to pressure ulcer prevention, for example, shear and friction force redistribution and pressure distribution. Bench testing was performed using nine commercially available dressings. The use of dressings can reduce the amplitude of shear stress and friction reaching the skin of patients at risk. They can also effectively redirect these forces to wider areas which minimises the mechanical loads upon skeletal prominences. Dressings can redistribute pressure based upon their effective Poisson ratio and larger deflection areas, providing greater load redistribution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-413
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Wound Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • Dressing prophylaxis
  • Force dispersion
  • In vitro force measurement
  • Point load deflection
  • Poisson's ratio
  • Pressure ulcer
  • Pressure ulcer prevention
  • Shear


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