Dressing-related trauma: clinical sequelae and resource utilization in a UK setting

Clinicoecon Outcomes Res. 2014 Apr 28:6:227-39. doi: 10.2147/CEOR.S59005. eCollection 2014.

Abstract

Background: Dressings are the mainstay of wound care management; however, adherence of the dressing to the wound or periwound skin is common and can lead to dressing-related pain and trauma. Dressing-related trauma is recognized as a clinical and economic burden to patients and health care providers. This study was conducted to garner expert opinion on clinical sequelae and resource use associated with dressing-related trauma in a UK setting.

Methods: THIS WAS AN EXPLORATORY STUDY WITH TWO PHASES: qualitative pilot interviews with six wound care specialists to explore dressing-related trauma concepts, sequelae, and resource utilization; and online quantitative research with 30 wound care specialists to validate and quantify the concepts, sequelae, and resource utilization explored in the first phase of the study. Data were collected on mean health care professional time, material costs, pharmaceutical costs, and inpatient management per sequela occurrence until resolution. Data were analyzed to give total costs per sequela and concept occurrence.

Results: The results demonstrate that dressing-related trauma is a clinically relevant concept. The main types of dressing-related trauma concepts included skin reactions, adherence to the wound, skin stripping, maceration, drying, and plugging of the wound. These were the foundation for a number of clinical sequelae, including wound enlargement, increased exudate, bleeding, infection, pain, itching/excoriation, edema, dermatitis, inflammation, and anxiety. Mean total costs range from £56 to £175 for the complete onward management of each occurrence of the six main concepts.

Conclusion: These results provide insight into the hidden costs of dressing-related trauma in a UK setting. This research successfully conceptualized dressing-related trauma, identified associated clinical sequelae, and quantified resource utilization associated with a typical occurrence of each trauma concept. Further research is warranted into dressing-related trauma and the associated costs.

Keywords: cost; dressings; resource use; trauma; wounds.