Dolphin Therapy: The most effective therapy surface for the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers in the most complex of patients?

Jacqui Fletcher, independent nurse, presented at Wounds UK 2016 a summary of 160 Dolphin Therapy patients from 19 hospital sites.

  • 73% of patients were classed as very high risk
  • 60% had existing pressure damage, frequently with multiple pressure ulcers on different sites of the body

In addition to existing skin damage, the patients generally presented with multiple comorbidities. Common patient conditions included: palliative, cancer, diabetes, ventilated, fractured neck of femur, amputation, spinal cord injury and brain injury. Nine were also described as extremely underweight or malnourished.

56% of patients had previously been placed on a dynamic/air mattress and were upgraded to Dolphin Therapy. The remainder were placed on Dolphin from the outset as a means of prevention of pressure damage and to assist with pain management, reduced repositioning and to improve concordance.

Outcomes for patients with intact skin include:

  • 100% success in the prevention of pressure ulcers: no patients acquired skin damage

Outcomes relating to pressure damage for these very complex patients include:

  • 57% improved or healed
  • 32% remained static
  • In addition, 71% of patients with moisture lesions improved or healed.

Other outcomes found include:

  • 85% of patients for whom microclimate management was an objective reported an improvement
  • 98% of patients for whom improved comfort was an objective reported an improvement
  • 99% of patients for whom pain reduction was an objective reported an improvement
  • 92% of patients who had previously been nursed on a dynamic surface were able to be re-positioned less frequently
  • 57% of non-concordant patients became concordant, and 43% became partially concordant

For these 160 complex patients, Dolphin Therapy provided a range of improved outcomes including better skin outcomes, better comfort and improved concordance. Staff also felt the Dolphin was beneficial for their patients and for care delivery.

Click here to view a short informative video that summarises the 160 patient evaluation

Click here to view Jacqui’s full paper

Click here for more information on Dolphin Therapy

Learn More About Pressure Ulcers Here