15 November 2017

New RCT demonstrates effectiveness of ALLEVYN◊ LIFE to prevent the onset of pressure ulcers

Smith & Nephew plc (LSE:SN, NYSE:SNN), the global medical technology business, today announces the results of a randomised controlled trial showing that the addition of ALLEVYN LIFE, Smith & Nephew’s leading multi-layer polyurethane dressing, to a standard care protocol significantly reduces the onset of pressure ulcers in elderly patients admitted to hospital for hip fracture.

Presented at the European pressure ulcer advisory panel annual meeting 2017, the Effectiveness of Using a New Polyurethane Foam Multi-layer Dressing in the Sacral Area to Prevent the Onset of Pressure Ulcer in the Elderly with Hip Fractures. A Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial by Professor Cristiana Forni, Head of a research nursing centre, Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute, Bologna, Italy, charts the experience of 359 fragility 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.

"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 Forni. “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 programmes1,2,3,4. ALLEVYN LIFE is demonstrated to redistribute pressure (in vitro)5 and can be lifted and repositioned6 to allow regular skin inspections. 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 bodies7 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 uniquely 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 unique 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 more about what we do to help reduce pressure ulcer incidence, please visit www.closertozero.com




Charles Reynolds

+44 (0) 1923 477314

Smith & Nephew




Dave Snyder

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Smith & Nephew




Ben Atwell / Debbie Scott

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FTI Consulting






Ingeborg Øie

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Smith & Nephew



About Smith & Nephew

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business dedicated to helping healthcare professionals improve people's lives. With leadership positions in Orthopaedic Reconstruction, Advanced Wound Management, Sports Medicine and Trauma & Extremities, Smith & Nephew has around 15,000 employees and a presence in more than 100 countries. Annual sales in 2016 were almost $4.7 billion. Smith & Nephew is a member of the FTSE100 (LSE:SN, NYSE:SNN).

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

Forward-looking Statements

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Trademark of Smith & Nephew.  Certain marks registered US Patent and Trademark Office.

  1. Clarke, B: Positive patient outcomes: The use of a new silicone adhesive hydrocellular foam dressing for pressure ulcer prevention and treatment
  2. Lisco, C: Evaluation of a new silicone gel-adhesive hydrocellular foam dressing as part of a pressure ulcer prevention plan for ICU patients
  3. Brindle, T: Preventing sacral pressure ulcer development in the surgical patient population
  4. Sammon, M: Reducing Hospital-acquired pressure injuries and the cost of prevention in the OR and ICU setting
  5. Data on File report DS/15/217/R Oct 2015, L. Daubney. Pressure transmission testing
  6. Data on File report GMCA-DOF/08-April 2016, A. Rossington. Product performance of the next generation ALLEVYN LIFE
  7. 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.