We often say that patients with AquaCast® waterproof cast liners have good or excellent skin health when the cast is removed, but is there any research to back up that claim? The answer is: Yes! Researchers at Towson Orthopaedic Associates applied AquaCast® waterproof cast liners on patients recovering from bone fractures. They found that, of the of 72 participants, 71 had average or better skin health after the removal of the cast as evaluated by the clinician removing the cast. Even better, 71 out of 72 trial patients reported that they would recommend AquaCast® waterproof cast liners to others! Learn more about the study and its findings below.
What are the Issues with Non-Waterproof Casts?
Non-waterproof plaster or fiberglass casts, which use cotton linings, limit patient activities such as swimming, showering, and bathing. This often results in poor hygiene, increased odor, and itchiness and discomfort under the cast, particularly in pediatric and adolescent patients.
What is AquaCast Liner?
AquaCast waterproof cast material is made from ePTFE, or Expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene, a non-absorbent, highly breathable material developed in the late 1960s. This material contains billions of tiny pores which are larger than water vapor molecules, but smaller than liquid water droplets. This technology allows the AquaCast waterproof liner to remain dry while the wearer’s skin gets wet. After the patient bathes, showers, or swims, water drains quickly from the ends of the cast, and the patient’s body temperature causes remaining moisture to evaporate through the liner and overlying fiberglass cast tape. Cotton cast liners, by contrast, absorb and hold the moisture next to the skin for extended periods of time, which can result in skin complications or poor skin health.
To test whether the use of a waterproof cast liner improves skin health in wearers, researchers applied short-arm, long-arm, and short-leg casts to seventy-two patients, aged 24 months to 64 years. An AquaCast waterproof cast liner was placed beneath fiberglass casting tape. Patients or their parents were instructed to rinse the cast with clean water after sports practice or swimming, and to dry the cast thoroughly before going to bed. At the time of cast removal, the patient or parent completed a survey measuring:
Cast liner type
Duration of immobilization
Frequency of swimming, bathing, or sporting activity
Average amount of time required for cast to dry completely
Overall cast satisfaction/likelihood to recommend to a friend
In addition, skin integrity was evaluated by an orthopedic technologist or physician at the time of cast removal and rated as excellent, good, average, or poor.
Study Results & Conclusions
During the one-year study period, 71 out of 72 patients (98.6%) wearing an AquaCast waterproof liner were noted by an orthopedic technologist to have Average, Good or Excellent skin quality. Only 1 patient was noted to have poor skin quality, but the orthopedic technologist noted that that the cast had not been properly rinsed during the immobilization period. In addition, the majority of patients (52.8%) reported that it took only 1-2 hours for their cast to dry, and 38.9% reported it took one hour or less to dry. Only 6.9% of patients reported it taking more than 2 hours to dry.
In the comment section, patients noted that AquaCast Liner allowed them to continue their daily activities without inconvenience, and decreased odor and itchiness. Overall, 71 out of 72 patients would recommend AquaCast Liner to others! Taking all of these results into consideration, researchers concluded that AquaCast Liner is proving to have great satisfaction for both patients & cast technologists.
Help Your Patients with AquaCast!
AquaCast Liner produces the highest-quality waterproof cast material available in today’s healthcare market. To learn more about waterproof casts and their benefits, or place an order for our products, contact us today!
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