A newly developed material that simulates body fat appears effective in preventing bedsores in bedridden and wheelchair patients, investigators told the Chicago meeting.
The "artificial fat," as W. R. Spence, MD, described it, provides a thick layer over surfaces of the body, which have relatively small amounts of overlying soft tissue.
In addition to preventing sacral, trochanteric, and heel ulcers, and ischial tuberosity sores often prevalent in such patients, clinical trials suggest that a bed or chair pad containing the gel-like substance is helpful in the management of pain, Dr. Spence, Children's Hospital, Columbus, said.
The soft tissue substitute is actually a visco-elastic material and consists of a nonfracturable gel enclosed in a highly elastic membrane.
"The gel is stable, chemically inert, and will not support growth of bacteria. Its physical consistency is almost identical to that of the protoplasm of human tissue," Dr. Spence, a resident in Ohio State