15 February 2018

RCT demonstrates a 71% reduction in the onset of sacral pressure ulcers when adding ALLEVYN◊ LIFE to standard preventative protocol

Smith & Nephew plc (LSE:SN, NYSE:SNN), the global medical technology business, today announces the publication of a randomised controlled trial (RCT) demonstrating that the addition of  ALLEVYN LIFE, Smith & Nephew’s leading multi-layer silicone adhesive foam dressing, to a standard care protocol significantly reduces the onset of pressure ulcers by 71% in elderly patients admitted to hospital for hip fracture1.

Published in the International Wound Journal, the RCT charts the experience of 359 fragile hip fracture patients aged 65 or over. These patients were randomly divided into two groups, with some receiving standard care and others receiving standard care with the addition of an ALLEVYN LIFE dressing applied to the sacrum.

15.4% of patients receiving standard care developed a pressure ulcer as opposed to only 4.5% of the group who received the same care with the addition of ALLEVYN LIFE resulting in a 71% reduction in pressure ulcer incidence.

“Hip fractures in the elderly are a serious problem due to the high rate of mortality and complications such as pressure ulcers, which occur mainly in the sacral area,” said Professor Cristiana Forni, Head of a research nursing centre, Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute, Bologna, Italy “Preventive measures play an important role in increasing quality of care, reducing health costs and improving the patient’s quality of life. Our research shows that ALLEVYN LIFE is effective at reducing the rate of pressure ulcers in the sacrum in elderly patients with hip fracture. The excellent adhesiveness of this device also enables costs to be kept down.”

This new study adds to the growing body of evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of ALLEVYN LIFE in multi-component pressure ulcer prevention programmes1-5. Prophylactic dressings do not negate the need for thorough and regular skin assessment and should be used as part of a comprehensive pressure ulcer prevention protocol.

“Many global experts and professional bodies8 state polyurethane foam dressings should be considered for use prophylactically on bony prominences in anatomical areas subject to friction and shear” said Dr Andy Weymann, Chief Medical Officer, Smith & Nephew. “This new research further demonstrates that ALLEVYN LIFE is a safe and effective preventative measure suited to be at the heart of a pressure ulcer prevention strategy.”

ALLEVYN LIFE has been designed following observational ethnographic research with patients and clinicians to address unmet needs in wound management.  The dressing has a five layer design incorporating a breathable top layer, hydrocellular foam, hyper-absorbent lock away core, masking layer, silicone gel adhesive layer and wide border. ALLEVYN LIFE Sacrum has a unique tail designed specifically for wounds in the sacral area and fits around the cleft, to help overcome common problems such as the dressing tenting.

To learn how we can help you get CLOSER TO ZERO™ pressure ulcer incidence, please visit www.smith-nephew.com/forni.



Dave Snyder
+1 (978) 749-1440
Smith & Nephew plc

About Smith & Nephew

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business dedicated to supporting healthcare professionals in their daily efforts to improve the lives of their patients. With leadership positions in Orthopaedic Reconstruction, Advanced Wound Management, Sports Medicine and Trauma & Extremities, Smith & Nephew has more than 15,000 employees and a presence in more than 100 countries. Annual sales in 2017 were almost $4.8 billion. Smith & Nephew is a member of the FTSE100 (LSE: SN, NYSE: SNN).

For more information about Smith & Nephew, please visit our corporate website www.smith-nephew.com, follow @SmithNephewplc on Twitter or visit SmithNephewplc on Facebook.com


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1. Forni C, D’Alessandro F, Gallerani P, et al. Effectiveness of using a new poly-urethane foam multi-layer dressing in the sacral area to prevent the onset of pressure ulcer in the elderly with hip fractures: A pragmatic randomised con-trolled trial. Int Wound J. 2018;1–8.
2. Clarke, B: Positive patient outcomes: The use of a new silicone adhesive hydrocellular foam dressing for pressure ulcer prevention and treatment
3. Lisco, C: Evaluation of a new silicone gel-adhesive hydrocellular foam dressing as part of a pressure ulcer prevention plan for ICU patients
4. Lisco, C: Evaluation of a new silicone gel-adhesive hydrocellular foam dressing as part of a pressure ulcer prevention plan for ICU patients.
5. Brindle, T: Preventing sacral pressure ulcer development in the surgical patient population.
6. Sammon, M: Reducing Hospital-acquired pressure injuries and the cost of prevention in the OR and ICU setting.
7. Data on File report DS/15/217/R Oct 2015, L. Daubney. Pressure transmission testing.
8. Data on File report GMCA-DOF/08-April 2016, A. Rossington. Product performance of the next generation ALLEVYN LIFE.
9. National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel and Pan Pacifi c Pressure Injury Alliance. Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers: Clinical Practice Guideline. Emily Haesler (Ed.) Cambridge Media: Osborne Park, Western Australia; 2014.