Services 01422 233 111

Hybrid-Air Mattress Clinical Evaluation

Posted on February 15th 2018

This is the web version of the clinical trial that was first published in PDF format on this page.  

A large scale, single site evaluation based on the clinical benefits and cost-effectiveness of the Hybrid-Air pressure redistributing mattress in an acute setting.

Duration: 100 days Scope: 100 patients


Non-powered hybrids operate on the principle of air displacement. When a person repositions his or her weight on the Hybrid-Air, air moves within the mattress to surrounding cells for optimal pressure redistribution.

As the person moves, the pressure mattress conforms to the shape of the person’s body, increasing the surface area which is in contact with the mattress reducing the patient’s support surface interface pressures. This minimises the potential for cell and tissue breakdown and provides a safe and cost-effective solution to support surface selection needs.

The Hybrid-Air is a non-powered mattress replacement system, which uses a combination of foam and air cells. The system reduces interface pressures and minimises tissue breakdown through air displacement via fourteen visco-elastic bi-foam cells.

For maximum support, the cells run the full length of the mattress and respond to a patient’s individual weight and movements. When a patient is placed on the Hybrid-Air mattress’ surface, air is slowly released from the bi-foam cells to ensure optimum pressure reduction, providing the best possible support surface for patient’s individual needs. The air displacement technology ensures the mattress can be utilised even by the most vulnerable patients. As a pump is not required, cost and storage requirements are reduced when compared to a Dynamic Mattress.

Healthcare professionals attempt to reduce the occurrence of severe pressure ulcers by:

  • Identifying high risk patients
  • Using preventative strategies and pressure-relieving equipment

It is essential that pressure area care initiatives implemented are based on clinical evidence and cost-effectiveness.

Aims of the Clinical Trial

Pressure ulcer prevention strategies aim to reduce the magnitude or duration of pressure between a patient and their support surface (i.e. the interface pressure), or both.

This can be achieved by regular manual repositioning (e.g. two-hourly turning), or by using pressure-relieving support surfaces such as cushions, mattress overlays, replacement mattresses or whole bed replacements. Support surfaces are used with the purpose of redistributing pressure to reduce shearing forces and to control the local microclimate1. These are widely used in both institutional and non-institutional settings.

With greater demands being placed upon health organisations, it is vital to fully understand which types of patient can benefit from which types of support surfaces2, and that any strategies implemented for pressure ulcer prevention are as cost-effective as possible.

The intention of this evaluation is to comprehensively evaluate and evidence the clinical efficacy of the Hybrid-Air mattress. This has been achieved by measuring the following outcomes:

  • Incidence of new pressure ulcers
  • Patient comfort
  • Product acceptance by clinical staff
  • Cost Reduction
  • A reduction in staff time spent nursing/moving patients with pressure ulcers

The full ward trial was conducted on a general medical ward within The Vale of Leven Hospital, Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is the largest Health Board in the UK and employs over 38,000 individuals, providing healthcare to more than 1.2 million people.

The hospital offers a number of healthcare services and benefits from approximately 110 inpatient beds. The general medical ward (where the trial took place) has twenty seven beds and provides care for a wide range of patients with complex and differing health needs.

These patients have differing risk levels in relation to pressure ulcer prevention and management needs. As a general medical ward, it is crucial that the support surface equipment available meets the needs of patients on the ward from admission. Some patients that require a support surface have complex requirements, or can be very frail with a low BMI on admission. The Hybrid-Air caters for these patients by enabling pressure reduction and lowering interface pressures for patients who are identified as high risk.


The trial was conducted over a three-month period and captured data from one hundred patients. For the purpose of this evaluation, the general medical ward replaced six dynamic mattresses and twenty-one static foam surfaces with twenty seven Hybrid-Air mattresses from Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare. Training was provided to staff on the specification and design of the Hybrid-Air mattress during the one day ‘swap out’.

To enhance data captured from the trial, both patients and staff were asked for feedback during the evaluation period.

Pressure Mattress Results

The results showed that no pressure related skin damage occurred during the three-month evaluation, allowing the ward to successfully achieve a consecutive 365 days of ‘no avoidable pressure ulcers’. With no increase reported in repositioning schedules, patients were nursed successfully on the Hybrid-Air mattress. The trial also reported that:

  • Skin improvements had been noted for several patients who used the Hybrid-Air
  • Overall, patients were more comfortable on the Hybrid-Air mattress compared to previous mattresses used

Two patient examples:

  • An elderly and frail gentleman with oedematous legs was successfully nursed on the Hybrid-Air surface and his skin remained intact.
  • An elderly lady was admitted to the ward with ‘Category 2’, sacral pressure damage3. She was successfully nursed through repositioning on the Hybrid-Air, with no need to change the mattress. Previously, the patient would have been ‘stepped up’ from a static foam surface to a rented dynamic surface.

Mattress comfort:

  • 94% (94/100) of patients found the pressure mattress to be very comfortable
  • Overall patients were very satisfied and stated that they would be happy for the Hybrid-Air to be used on all hospital beds.

Due to complex patient needs and ward transfers, eleven patients were unable to be moved out of bed and were prescribed dynamic surfaces, in line with the hospitals current guidelines.


This large scale, single site evaluation on the clinical efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the Hybrid-Air pressure redistributing mattress confirmed that the Drive DeVilbiss Hybrid-Air Mattress:

  • Provided a clinically effective support surface
  • Fully met patient comfort expectations
  • Fully met safety requirements
  • Is a cost-effective solution to prevent pressure ulcers
  • Reduced time pressures on clinical staff teams
  • Significantly reduced rental mattress costs
  • Reduces the need to ‘step up’ to rented dynamic solutions

During the trial, patient skin integrity was maintained, despite many patients having complex medical needs. Overall, there was an 81% reduction in patients being prescribed dynamic support surfaces.

Health professionals must be able to prevent the development of pressure ulcers in vulnerable patients effectively, by employing safe equipment with effective patient outcomes that are also cost-effective4. The Hybrid-Air performed very well during the trial. When compared with competitor products, it was noted that the product was easier to use, lighter and its simple design was identified as having further benefits, with spend on replacement parts significantly reduced.

This Clinical trial can also be downloaded in PDF format here.



Back to news
Hybrid-Air Mattress Clinical Evaluation