Oscar M. Alvarez Ph.D., Vikram Ravikumar, and Martin Wendelken DPM, RN
Center for Curative and Palliative Wound Care, Calvary Hospital, Bronx, NY,
Department of Medicine, York Medical College, Valhalla, NY., Sun Scientific, Inc., Dobbs Ferry, NY
The ideal compression pressures for the treatment of venous ulcers remain unknown. Furthermore, local interface pressures provided by short stretch bandages can vary significantly depending on the anatomical location of the wound. The AeroBolster™ wound dressing is an air-filled polyethylene pillow with a medical-grade foam wound contact layer that comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Localized compression is especially helpful when treating lower leg or foot wounds that are in concave or non-cylindrical areas such as the dorsum of the foot or around the ankle.
We investigated the healing rates, local interfacial pressures, and the wound pain index of 10 consecutive venous ulcer patients treated with AeroBolster and either 2 or 4-layer compression bandages. All patients had one or more painful wounds over a concave or non-cylindrical area of the leg. Healing rates and wound pain in wounds treated with AeroBolster were compared retrospectively to historical control patients with wounds in similar locations and compressed without a bolster dressing. All patients were followed for 12 weeks or until healing.
All (100%) of the AeroBolster-treated patients reported pain relief and the mean decrease in VAS score was 3. The incidence of wound closure after 12 weeks was 78% for the AeroBolster group and 63% in the historical control group. The mean increase in interfacial pressures before and after bolstering with AeroBolster was 12.12mmHg.
Although it has not been formally studied, most experienced wound care clinicians believe that bolstering venous ulcers is helpful. AeroBolster is a uniform wound dressing bolster that provides consistent and reproducible local compression. Results of this preliminary study show that AeroBolster may be a valuable adjunct to compression therapy in the treatment of venous ulcers.