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A Guide to Drive DeVilbiss Sidhil Pressure Area Care Mattresses

Posted on June 5th 2018

There is increasing awareness of the cost of pressure ulcers in both financial and human terms, and recent years have seen significant developments in clinical practice in the field of pressure area care.

Alongside a range of different therapies, the emergence of different types of pressure relief surfaces have revolutionised nursing care and had a real impact on the prevalence of pressure ulcers.


What is a pressure mattress?

Almost all hospital and long-term care mattresses in use today offer some levels of pressure relief to mitigate pressure ulcer risks. However, pressure relieving mattresses fall into three main categories:-

  • Static foam mattresses (using different types of foam to vary peak pressures)
  • Dynamic therapy mattresses (pressure mattresses powered by pumps using air flow to reduce pressure at the interface between patient and substrate)
  • Hybrid mattresses, both powered by a pump and non-powered (combining air flow techniques with advanced foams)


What causes a pressure ulcer?

Pressure ulcers – also known as decubitus ulcers – are skin and underlying tissue injuries caused by continuous pressure on the skin. Those people with medical conditions limiting independent mobility who are unable to reposition themselves and those who are confined to beds or chairs are most at risk.

It is common for pressure ulcers to arise where the skin covers bony areas such as heels, the base of the spine and the hips.


What are the stages of a pressure ulcer?

Category 1 Intact skin with non-blanchable redness of a localised area usually over a bony prominence.

Category 2, Partial thickness loss of dermis presenting as a shallow open ulcer with a red pink wound bed. May present as a blister.

Category  3 Full thickness tissue loss. Subcutaneous fat may be visible but bone, tendon or muscle are not exposed.

Category 4 Full thickness tissue loss with exposed bone or tendon. Often includes undermining and tunnelling.


How can specialist mattresses help to reduce pressure sores?

Before the advent of specialist therapies, patients who were chair bound or bed bound were managed by regular movement from health care professionals to prevent pressure.

Nowadays, patients deemed at risk of developing pressure ulcers will be nursed on specialist pressure relief mattresses.

Current clinical guidelines mean that patients going into hospital undergo skin assessment to establish their risk factors for developing pressure ulcers, looking at how well they can self-mobilise and also taking into accountthe requirements for effective pressure area care.


Types of pressure mattress


Dynamic (Alternating Therapy) Mattresses

Apollo dynamic mattress system

Dynamic therapy mattress systems (air mattresses) are usually powered by pumps. They consist of a series of air tubes (known as cells) and work by constantly inflating and deflating these cells to ensure that contact pressures vary where the patient’s weight rests on the mattress, achieving effective pressure redistribution.

Drive DeVilbiss products include:

  • Artemis
  • Apollo
  • Athena
  • Elite
  • Simple
  • Simple Plus
  • SoloXtra
  • Solo II
  • Trio II
  • Bariatric

There are a variety of different therapies used in this arena, with special options for low weight or bariatric patients and also for use in specialist areas such as burns treatment.


The Artemis Dynamic Mattress – How it works

The Artemis is a fully automatic powered dynamic therapy mattress system featuring intuitive pressure adjustment determined by individual patient weights and movements.

It provides a choice of therapy modes including:-

  • Alternating (where cells inflate and deflate over a 10 minute cycle)
  • Pulsation (providing tissue stimulus through alternately increasing and decreasing cell inflation)
  • Constant low pressure (where low internal cell pressures ‘immerse and envelop’ the patient to decrease peak pressures
  • Max inflate mode (creating a firm static surface to facilitate nursing procedures

The mattress is designed around a Figure 8 cell construction with a constantly inflated sub cell, ensuring patients are supported even in the event of a power failure and is powered by a silent running pump.

The pump features a dual compressor, achieving fast inflation and easy disconnection, with air remaining in the cells for 10 hours enabling patient transportation from ward to ward where required.

Artemis has been designed for use with Very High-Risk patients up to and including Category 4 pressure ulcers. It is zoned into head, body and heel sections with narrower cells in the heel area to reduce peak pressures at this vulnerable spot.

The top three cells giving head support remain static, which means that the mattress is better tolerated by individuals who find the dynamic movement difficult to cope with.

A matching dynamic seat cushion can also be run from the same pump to support 24 hour care.


Hybrid Mattresses

Hybrid power pressure mattress

Hybrid pressure mattresses combine both foam and dynamic therapies and can be used either as static mattresses or as dynamic therapy surfaces to mitigate the risk of pressure ulcers.

This gives the added advantages that ‘stepping up’ from a static mattress to a dynamic therapy mattress can be achieved quickly and easily without needing to move the patient from the bed and without waiting for equipment to be delivered.

Likewise, ‘stepping down’ or moving the patient to a static mattress from a dynamic one as their care needs reduce is also quicker and more straightforward.

Hybrid mattresses are available as powered and non-powered versions.

Drive DeVilbiss products include:

  • Acclaim Flow
  • Hybrid-Power
  • Hybrid-Turn
  • Hybrid-Air
  • Hybrid (Air/Foam) – How do they work


The Acclaim Flow Hybrid Mattress – How it works

The Acclaim Flow Hybrid Mattress uses a combination of air cells and specialist foams to form a mattress surface capable of pressure reduction across a wide range of healthcare environments, providing effective prevention and treatment for presure ulcers.

10 latitudinal air cells are encased in foam. The action of the patient’s own weight on the airflow mattress encourages air to move in and out of the cells to match weight distribution and movement to achieve best possible pressure reduction. The surface contact area is increased which reduces peak interface pressures

The mattress uses high-grade foam at the edges for strength, providing a firm surface to help patients get in and out of bed.

In addition, the Acclaim Flow has a zoned castellated foam top section divided into heel, head and torso zones to facilitate localised pressure reduction. The mattress is ideal for individuals at high risk of developing pressure ulcers, who find it difficult to tolerate dynamic surfaces.


Static (Foam) Mattresses

Static or foam mattresses like the Acclaim VE use a range of high quality castellated visco elastic foams to create a safe, comfortable, pressure relieving surface, confirming to the shape of the body and reducing peak pressures.

Some static mattresses incorporate smaller castellations in at-risk areas such as heels and the base of the spine.

Drive DeVilbiss products include:

  • Acclaim VE
  • Memaflex
  • Permaflex
  • Permaflex Plus
  • Softrest


Seat Cushions

Dynamic therapy seat cushions are also available in options including dynamic (powered), static (foam) and gels.

Seat cushions play an important role in 24 hour care, ensuring that vulnerable patients are not at risk of pressure ulcer development when they are in a seated position outside the bed, in a chair or a wheelchair.

Dependent upon risk assessment and levels of care required, appropriate cushions may use alternating dynamic therapies, a range of high quality foams or even gel inserts to ensure total comfort and safety.

Dynamic therapy seat cushions often run from the same pump as the dynamic mattress on the bed, which means that patients seated next to the bed during the day do not need an additional pump to power their cushions.

Seat cushions are supplied complete with breathable, vapour permeable covers. Replacement covers are also available.


The importance of high-quality mattress covers

Mattresses developed and manufactured by Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare also take into account how the individual products are used and how they can be best protected to ensure optimum patient comfort whilst maintaining longevity.

Specialist easy-clean mattress covers are produced using breathable, vapour permeable, waterproof, multiway stretch fabrics with added antibacterial resistance. X-ray translucent options are available.

Different mattress cover designs feature stitched or welded seams with a zipped barrier with flap, and come complete with a five-year warranty.


Bariatric Options

Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare offers a full range of dynamic, static and profiling bed mattresses to match the individual requirements of the patient population. This includes a selection of medical mattresses and seat cushions engineered to accommodate the needs of bariatric users.


How technology can assist: the M.A.P 100 System

MAP pressure monitoring system

The Monitor, Alert, Protect (M.A.P™) system is the UK’s first continuous bedside pressure monitoring system, designed to provide real-time information on pressure levels between bed occupants and support surfaces.

How the M.A.P pressure ulcers prevention system works

M.A.P uses a smart pressure sensing mat with thousands of sensing points to identify high and low-pressure areas between the patient and the support surface. This data is then sent to a monitor where it is displayed as a real-time, colour coded high-resolution image.

For visual purposes, areas of high pressure are shown clearly in red and orange, and with lower pressure areas showing as green and blue. This ‘pressure map’ image gives nursing staff immediate and accurate detail on each individual patient.

They can then alter the patient’s position to reduce pressure.

Benefits include:-

  • Live monitoring and management of pressure distribution
  • Demonstrates the immediate benefits of patient repositioning
  • Can be used with patients of different weights and sizes, including bariatric cases
  • Ongoing monitoring verifies that moving and turning interventions are effective


See the full range of pressure area care products from Drive DeVilbiss Sidhil >>

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A Guide to Drive DeVilbiss Sidhil Pressure Area Care Mattresses