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Stop The Pressure 2020

Posted on October 28th 2020

For this year’s Stop Pressure Ulcers awareness day, we have been looking closely at the technical features of our specialist mattresses and how sometimes the smallest of changes has the largest of impacts. Understanding how our role as a healthcare manufacturer can help limit the number of pressure ulcers and the burden these can be, not only on the NHS, but for the patients and their families, is extremely important to us.

What is a pressure ulcer? *

Also known as a pressure sore or a bed sore, a pressure ulcer is an area of damage that occurs to the skin and underlying tissue. A pressure ulcer is primarily caused by prolonged pressure on the skin and most commonly effects the bony parts of the body, such as heels, elbows, hips and base of the spine.

Who is most at risk of getting pressure ulcers? *

Pressure ulcers can affect many people, including those with poor diets, medical conditions that affect blood supply such as diabetes, kidney failure, Parkinson’s and obesity. Those that are most susceptible are often patients confined to a bed through either illness, after surgery or patients that have the inability to move some or all their body (paralysis).

How to reduce the risk? *

It can be difficult to completely prevent pressure ulcers but there are some things patients, families and the care team can do to reduce the risk.

  • Regularly change position – this will shift the points of pressure and relieve any areas that may have been under pressure for a significant period. If the patient is unable to change position themselves, a relative or carer will need to help.
  • Check the Skin – performing daily checks on the pressure points can help detect early signs and symptoms of pressure ulcers. This should be performed by the care team whilst in hospital.
  • Healthy Diet – providing a healthy balanced diet, that contains enough protein and a variety of vitamins and minerals can help with tissue regeneration and is very important for all patients susceptible to pressure ulcers.
  • Smoking Cessation – patients that smoke are more likely to get pressure ulcers due to the damage caused to blood circulation.
  • Specialist Equipment – If a patient is at high risk of developing a pressure ulcer, the care team may recommend a specially designed dynamic or hybrid mattress that delivers air into the mattress cells via a pump.

*Reference - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pressure-sores/

Our Dynamic and Hybrid mattresses are active support surfaces that use air in alternating cells. An active support surface can change its load distribution allowing pressure to be redistributed through the cyclical inflation and deflation of sections of the mattress. This means pressure is redistributed regularly over the body surface.

Many of our mattresses contain smaller castellations and thinner air cells at the foot end of the mattress to form a dedicated heel zone, as heels can often be vulnerable to pressure ulcers. These cells, along with the body cells, alternate over a 10-minute cycle, redistributing the pressure across the heels and the rest of the body.

As well as alternating therapy, some dynamic mattress also offer a Constant Low Pressure (CLP) mode, which is ideal for patients who cannot tolerate alternating movement of air cells. CLP reduces peak pressures providing immersion and envelopment; providing more comfort to the bony prominences of a patient.

There are additional specialist mattresses that also provide a Low Air Loss (LAL) therapy. As well as providing an immersive surface, these mattresses serve to regulate the microclimate to help keep patients skin cool and dry.

Over the years we have seen a huge increase in the demand for a mattress that can offer multiple levels of support. Having to change a patient’s mattress impacts on nursing time. This is where our Hybrid Power mattress has become a popular choice, offering both dynamic and static therapies. The Hybrid Power allows the care team to ‘step up’ or ‘step down’ a patient’s level of support without having to change the mattress. The Hybrid Power support surface is a high specification foam, which by adding a pump unit to the mattress the alternating cells assist with pressure redistribution and offer dynamic therapy when the pump is in use.

There are many, many more features in our specialist mattresses, for more information and to request a virtual demonstration contact your local business development manager.

 

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Stop The Pressure 2020