Mr Adam Mclean1
1Bendigo Health, Alexandra, Australia
Aim: To determine if the use of a pressure sensing device could lead to improved wound offloading techniques for patients with neuropathic foot wounds.
Method: 12 patients participated in the study. Pressure recordings (maximum and average psi) were taken for the wound site before wound treatment, after offloading, and subsequently again if the offloading method was changed prior to the patient leaving. The data gathered from our participants was examined to look for instances where the treatment was changed (occasions of change) as a result of the data provided by the Pressure Guardian. Additionally, the Pressure Guardian device was evaluated by the Podiatrists for its ‘ease of use’, ‘clinical significance’, ‘accuracy’,’ practicality’ and ‘educational’ properties’.
Results: On 4/14 occasions where the pressure guardian was used, it directly lead to the clinician altering the treatment they provided (occasions of change). This meant that almost one third of the patients would have left the clinic with inferior offloading had the device not been used. The qualitative results (clinician questionnaire) were favourable in establishing the usefulness of the pressure guardian device from a clinician point of view.
Significance of the findings to allied health: The pressure sensing device was found to be an effective tool for Podiatrists when offloading neuropathic foot wounds. Effective offloading is paramount to wound healing, reducing healing times, avoiding amputations and hospital admissions, and reducing the economic burden for health services.