Considerable Variability in Stiffness Properties of Products used for Prevention of Medical Device-Related Pressure Ulcers

Golan Amrani Amit Gefen
Tel Aviv University, Israel

Background: Medical device-related pressure ulcers (MDRPUs) are caused by devices designed and applied for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes and which are in contact with skin. The resultant pressure ulcer generally conforms to the shape of the device. Various medical products are used for cushioning areas in contact with medical devices for prevention of MDRPUs. Methods: We conducted standard uniaxial unconfined compressive tests on medical products used in practice for prevention of MDRPUs to determine their stiffness properties. Results: Products demonstrate considerable variability in mechanical behaviors; their elastic moduli ranged over at least three orders of magnitude. Conclusion: The importance of this study is in revealing the unacceptably wide range of stiffness properties of products used for prevention of MDRPUs, which is not compatible with the stiffness properties of relevant soft tissues. The outcomes of the compressive tests highlight the need for standardization in this field and guidance from bioengineering work to improve prevention of MDRPUs.

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