Comparison of Efficacy of Alginate Filler Dressings with Conventional Saline Dressings for Cavity Wounds in Diabetic Foot Ulcer- A Prospective Cohort Study PC01-PC04
Dr. Pradeep Joshua Christopher,
Potheri, SRM Nagar, Kattankulathur, Chennai-603203, Tamil Nadu, India.
Introduction: Diabetic foot ulcers are associated with 25% of patients with Diabetes Mellitus (DM). These diabetic foot ulcers if not given appropriate care at the right time can lead to amputations and poor quality of life. Alginate dressings are newer and help in faster healing of cavity wounds in diabetic foot ulcer.
Aim: To compare the advantages of alginate dressings over conventional saline dressings in cavity wounds of diabetic foot ulcer patients.
Materials and Methods: A single centre prospective longitudinal cohort study was conducted on 88 patients with diabetic foot ulcers randomising equally into two groups containing 44 patients in each group in a tertiary care hospital. The wounds of all patients included in the study were thoroughly debrided and initial assessment was done using the Pressure Ulcer Scale for Healing (PUSH) scoring system. The patients were started on alginate dressings in one group and saline dressings in other group and were assessed after two and four weeks. The reduction in the surface area of the wound, reduction in the exudate amount, type of the tissue over the ulcer and reduction in the bacterial load (wound cultures) of the ulcers were studied. The statistical analysis were done using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 21. The statistics were done using independent sample tests (Levene’s test for equality of variances and t-test for equality of means), Mann-Whitney test and Wilcoxon test.
Results: The results of wound assessment before dressings, at two weeks and at the end of four weeks are as follows: The mean (SD) reduction in wound surface area was 9.07 (1.634) to 6.89 (1.434) to 4.68 (1.272) for alginate group and 9.25 (2.059) to 8.00 (1.905) to 6.50 (1.650) for saline group. The mean (SD) reduction of the exudate amount was 2.02 (0.505) to 1.09 (0.473) to 0.14 (0.347) for alginate group and 1.98 (0.590) to 1.43 (0.625) to 0.75 (0.615) for the saline group. The mean (SD) for tissue type of cavity wounds assessed via PUSH scoring was reduced from 2.30 (0.701) to 0.16 (0.370) for the alginate group in comparison to 2.32 (0.740) to 0.77 (0.743) for the saline group at the end of four weeks. On evaluation of the wound cultures; 6 out of 44 patients (13.6%) were culture positive in the alginate group while 30 out of 44 patients (68.2%) were culture positive from the saline group at the end of four weeks. All the above results were statistically significant with a p-value of 0.001.
Conclusion: Alginates dressings are superior to saline dressings in terms of reduction in the size of the ulcer and control of microbial activity in diabetic foot. Alginate absorbs large amount of exudates and fill in irregular shaped cavities which are ideal in treating cavity wounds in diabetic foot syndrome.