Current practice and new systems for in-house pressure garment production

Rhona Ferguson, Lisa Macintyre

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Pressure garments are widely used in the treatment and prevention of hypertrophic burn scars. These pressure garments can be made by commercial suppliers or in-house by specialist staff. This paper will present the results of a 2012 survey of NHS burn units examining current pressure garment practice and construction techniques. The results of this survey will be compared with the results of the last survey conducted in 1997 to establish what has changed in the last 15 years, what has influenced these changes and also what barriers there are to changes in practice when new information comes to light. Previous research showed that following standard practice of 1997 would exert a wide range of pressures on patients’ limbs. The pressures exerted are determined by the fabric selected and the circumference of the limb to which the pressure garment was fitted [1]. The 2012 survey has shown a consolidation of the source and number of fabrics used for in-house pressure garment manufacture but little change in the design processes used. These findings have led to the development of 2 computer based pressure garment construction and evaluation systems, which are being developed in partnership with hospital staff responsible for making pressure garments in-house. The first allows medical staff to monitor the mean pressures exerted to patient’s limbs when pressure garments are designed and constructed following their standard protocol. This will enable them to catalogue the mean pressures they are exerting on their patients allowing them to build their understanding of which pressures work better on specific patients and scar sites. The second system enables users to design pressure garments capable of exerting specific mean pressures to the patient’s scarred limb, it is anticipated that this would be used once a body of data has been built up using the first, pressure calculating/cataloguing, system. Both of these systems have been developed based on research published in Burns [2] and following testing of the fabrics currently used by hospitals for pressure garment construction. Both systems are very simple, cheap and quick to use and will enable users to not only develop a greater understanding of pressure garment treatment but also be able to apply the most effective pressures for particular scars and scar locations. It is anticipated that use of these systems will enable the collection of valuable future research data.

[1] Dr Lisa Macintyre, Dr Margot Baird. Pressure garments for use in the treatment of hypertrophic scars – an evaluation of current construction techniques in NHS hospitals. BURNS 31/1 (2005) 11-14
[2] Macintyre L. Designing pressure garments capable of exerting specific pressures on limbs. Burns 33/5 (2007) 579-86.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2012
Event16th Congress of the International Society of Burn Injuries - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Sept 201213 Sept 2012


Conference16th Congress of the International Society of Burn Injuries
Abbreviated titleISBI
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • pressure garments
  • hypertrophic scars
  • production method


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