Background: Pressure ulcer formation in nursing home residents is a common problem. Current standard of care requires repositioning every two hours in patients who are at risk for pressure ulcer formation. Few studies have been performed to assess a difference in repositioning interval. This study was conducted to see if there is a difference in pressure ulcer formation among residents on high-density foam mattresses at moderate to high risk (according to the Braden scale).
Study design: Multi-site, randomized, clinical trial.
Setting: Twenty U.S. and seven Canadian nursing homes using high-density foam mattresses.
Synopsis: A multi-site, randomized clinical trial was executed in 20 U.S. and seven Canadian nursing homes. More than 900 residents were randomized to two-, three-, or four-hour intervals for repositioning. All participants were at either moderate (13-14) or high (10-12) risk on the Braden scale for pressure ulcer formation. All facilities used high-density foam mattresses. All participants were monitored for pressure ulcer formation on the sacrum/coccyx, heel, or trochanter for three consecutive weeks.
There was no significant difference in pressure ulcer formation between the two-, three-, or four-hour interval repositioning groups. There was no significant difference in pressure ulcer formation between the moderate or high-risk groups. Only 2% of participants developed a pressure ulcer, all stage I or II.
It is not clear if the outcomes were purely related to the repositioning intervals, as this study group had a much lower rate of pressure ulcer formation compared to national averages and previous studies. The high-density foam mattress might have improved outcomes by evenly redistributing pressure so that less frequent repositioning was required. The level of documentation may have led to earlier recognition of early stage pressure ulcers as well. This study also was limited to nursing home residents at moderate to high risk of pressure ulcer development.
Bottom line: There is no significant difference in pressure ulcer formation between repositioning intervals of two, three, or four hours among moderate and high-risk nursing home residents using high-density foam mattresses.
Citation: Bergstrom N, Horn SD, Rapp MP, Stern A, Barrett R, Watkiss M. Turning for ulcer reduction: a multisite randomized clinical trial in nursing homes. 2013;61(10):1705-1713.
Prednisolone, Pentoxifylline, and Survival of Patients with Severe Alcoholic Hepatitis
Clinical question: Does the addition of pentoxifylline to prednisolone improve six-month mortality compared to prednisolone alone in patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis?
Background: Prednisolone improves liver function and reduces inflammation in patients with alcoholic hepatitis. Pentoxifylline appears to have a protective effect against hepatorenal syndrome in patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis. The medications have different mechanisms of action; therefore, the researchers hypothesized that the combination of medication would improve outcomes.
Study design: Multi-center, randomized, double-blinded clinical trial.
Setting: One Belgian and 23 French hospitals, from December 2007 to October 2010.
Synopsis: This study randomized 270 patients to receive either prednisolone and pentoxifylline or prednisolone and placebo for 28 days. Acute alcoholic hepatitis was defined by a positive biopsy, onset of jaundice three months prior to the study, and a Maddrey’s discriminant function score of >32. All patients were assessed for response to treatment using the Lille model at seven days of treatment, occurrence of hepatorenal syndrome, and survival at six months.
Results showed no significant difference in treatment response, alcohol relapse, death, time to death, or occurrence of hepatorenal syndrome between the two treatment groups; however, there were fewer episodes of hepatorenal syndrome in the pentoxifylline group.
Patients considered responders by the Lille model and those with lower Model for End-Stage Liver Disease scores had improved mortality. Patients treated with pentoxifylline had lower rates of hepatorenal syndrome at one month but no difference by six months. Patients with a lower Lille score had significantly less incidence of hepatorenal syndrome. The study may be underpowered to accurately determine outcomes other than six-month survival.