To examine if the use of honey (medicated) for dressing is superior to standard care in terms of time to complete wound healing in stages 1-3 of pressure injuries in children admitted to the PICU.
Multicenter, open-label, parallel-group, randomized trial.
Tertiary-care PICU from August 2017 to January 2019.
Critically ill children, 2 months to 17 years old, who developed pressure injury (stages 1-3) were included; those on more than two inotropes or with signs of acute wound infection or wounds with greater than 5 cm diameter or known allergy to honey were excluded.
Children were randomized to receive either medicated honey dressing or standard (routine) wound care for the management of their pressure injury.
The primary outcome was the time to complete wound healing. Manuka or active Leptospermum honey dressing/gel was used in the intervention group. Enrolled children were followed up until death or discharge from the hospital. A total of 99 children were enrolled: 51 in the intervention group and 48 in the standard care group. Baseline characteristics, including the nutritional status, were comparable between the groups. The most common sites of injury were bony prominences at face mask contact points. The median time to complete healing was 7 days (95% CI, 6-7 d) versus 9 days (7-10 d) in the intervention and standard care groups, respectively (p = 0.002; log-rank test). At any random time, children in the intervention group were about 1.9-fold more likely to have their pressure injury completely healed than those in the standard care group (hazard ratio 1.86; 95% CI, 1.21-2.87). There were no allergic reactions or secondary wound infections in the intervention group.
The use of medicated honey dressings decreased the time to wound healing in critically ill children with pressure injuries. There were no allergic reactions or secondary bacterial infections in any of these children.