Serial Sharp Debridement and Formulated Collagen Gel to Treat Pressure Ulcers in Elderly Long-term Care Patients: A Case Study

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Jennifer K. Agosti, RN, CWCA, FACCWS, CFCN, DAPWCA; Lois A. Chandler, PhD; Caryn M. Anderton, BS; and Rita M. Clark, RN, BSN

Index: Ostomy Wound Manage. 2013;59(11):43–49.


  Clinicians treating pressure ulcers in the elderly in long-term care often face psychosocial, financial, and patient quality-of-life challenges; as such, they seek to identify products that meet wound healing goals as expeditiously as possible. The purpose of this case series was to evaluate outcomes of serial sharp debridement and the application of a formulated collagen gel in patients with chronic, nonhealing pressure ulcers. Three patients (two women ages 82 and 74 years of age and one man 82 years old, all incontinent of bladder and bowel with numerous comorbidities) had wounds >18 months’ duration on the buttocks or coccyx that failed to improve despite the use of a wide variety of treatments, including negative pressure wound therapy. All wounds were debrided at the start of treatment and weekly thereafter if necessary, followed by application of the collagen gel. The gel was covered with a sterile bordered gauze and, if needed, a semipermeable dressing. Dressings were left in place for up to 1 week. Two ulcers reepithelialized completely after 4 to 5 weeks of care, and the wound bed of the third ulcer was ready for grafting after 6 weeks of care. No adverse events occurred. Nursing staff appreciated the reduced dressing change frequency, although dressing maintenance remains challenging in patients with frequent incontinence episodes. Randomized clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy of this treatment approach compared to the use of traditional moisture-retentive dressings are needed.

Keywords: case study, pressure ulcer, long-term care, debridement, collagen

Potential Conflicts of Interest: Ms. Agosti received compensation for conducting the study and writing this manuscript from, and Dr. Chandler and Ms.

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