The Effectiveness of EMLA as a Primary Dressing on Painful Chronic Leg Ulcers: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.

Authors: Purcell A, Buckley T, Fethney J, King J, Moyle W, Marshall AP


Adv Skin Wound Care. 2017 Aug;30(8):354-363

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of the eutectic mixture of local anesthetics (EMLA; Aspen Pharmacare, St. Leonards, New South Wales, Australia) as a primary dressing on painful chronic leg ulcers.
DESIGN: A pilot randomized controlled trial.
SETTING: The study was conducted across 6 community nursing procedure clinics located in a community nursing service in New South Wales, Australia.
PARTICIPANTS: Sixty participants with painful chronic leg ulcers of varied etiology were recruited into the study.
INTERVENTION: Participants were randomly assigned to an intervention (daily EMLA use for 4 weeks as a primary dressing) or a standard wound care group.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: The effectiveness of EMLA on wound-related pain intensity before, during, and after dressing change.
MAIN RESULTS: Mean pain scores were similar between the 2 groups at baseline (P = .84). During dressing change, mean pain scores across the 4-week intervention period were significantly lower in the intervention compared with the control group (intervention group: mean, 3.39 [SD, 2.16]; control group: mean, 4.82 [SD, 2.27]; P = .02). Mean pain scores after dressing change were also significantly lower for the intervention group over the 4-week intervention period (intervention group: mean, 2.71 [SD, 1.94]; control group: mean, 3.92 [SD, 2.03]; P = .03).
CONCLUSIONS: Data from this pilot study suggest that EMLA as a primary dressing may be effective in reducing chronic leg ulcer pain during and after dressing change and warrant further evaluation.



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