Pressure garments have been used prophylactically and to treat hypertrophic scars, resulting from serious burns, since the early 1970s. They are custom-made from elastic fabrics by commercial producers and hospital staff. However, no clear scientifically established method has ever been published for their design and manufacture. Previous work  identified the most commonly used fabrics and construction methods for the production of pressure garments by hospital staff in UK burn units. These methods were evaluated by measuring pressures delivered to both cylinder models and to human limbs using I-scan® pressure sensors. A new calibration method was developed for the I-scan® system to enable measurement of low interface pressures to an accuracy of ±2.5 mmHg. The effects of cylinder/limb circumference and pressure garment design on the pressures exerted were established. These measurements confirm the limitations of current pressure garment construction methods used in UK hospitals. A new method for designing pressure garments that will exert specific known pressures is proposed and evaluated for human thighs. Evaluation of the proposed design method is ongoing for other body parts. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd and ISBI.
- Hypertrophic scars
- Pressure garments