Mattresses and Pads for Pressure Relief
Choosing The Right Pressure Relief Mattresses & Pads
One of the many side effects of prolonged bed rest is developing pressure ulcers or, as they’re commonly known, bed sores—areas of skin that first redden and then can turn into open sores that, if untreated, become infected.
Pressure ulcers are identified by their stage of development, from Stage I to Stage IV, increasing in severity. Typical areas of skin affected are those over bony parts of the body. It might be hard to imagine that simply laying in bed can produce such a reaction, but all it takes is the pressure of bone against skin against the flat surface of a typical mattress to alter the natural flow of blood that nourishes skin.
Studies have shown that in hospital and long-term care facilities alike, up to a third of patients develop bed sores. In addition to changing position frequently, lying on a pressure relief mattress can help enormously.
Pressure points can be protected by either pressure-reducing surfaces, such as a static air pressure mattress, or pressure-relieving surfaces, such as an alternating air pressure mattress. A pressure reduction device reduces pressure, though not as much as a pressure relief mattress.
Once ulcers have developed, in most cases only a pressure relief mattress combined with skin protection and wound-healing measures will help.
Prevention Is Best
The best approach is to prevent ulcers from happening in the first place. If bed rest is part of recuperation from illness or if your nightly sleep position creates uncomfortable pressure points, a bed sore mattress like the Geneva Healthcare Egg Crate Convoluted Foam Mattress Pad can help prevent pressure sores.
I like the Geneva Healthcare Egg Crate Pad because it is therapeutically designed for maximum comfort and offers a cool, dry surface for restful sleep.
When lying on this pad, your body weight is distributed evenly from head to to, which improves circulation, and the cushion peaks increase comfort while offering support.
The Geneva Healthcare mattress pad is made of high-quality, medical-grade urethane, and is ideal for prevention of pressure sores, bed sored, pressure point stress and decubitus ulcers.
Gel Mattress Pad
Another choice gel mattress pad to reduce interface pressure while providing a cooler, more comfortable sleeping surface. Look for an internal baffle design that balances your body in the center of the mattress while eliminating the traditional water mattress rocking effect; good designs are often made from anti-microbial, medical grade vinyl.
I like the Gel Memory Foam Topper from Advanced Sleep Solutions because reviewers find it extremely comfortable, and is made in the USA with eco-friendly materials.
The Advanced Sleep Solutions Gel Memory Foam Topper uses innovative gel technology, featuring an open cell structure design that minimizes stiffness, improves air flow and dissipates unnecessary heat.
Perhaps most importantly, users find that it offers just the right amount of support to relieve pressure points.
The Advanced Sleep Systems Gel Memory Foam Topper is backed by a a 60 Day Money Back Comfortably Perfect Guarantee & a 3 Year Manufacturers Warranty.
Pressure Relief Mattress
If you want more than pressure reduction, investigate a pressure relief mattress system. An alternating pressure relief mattress is often is divided into several compartments that are alternately inflated and deflated by an electrical pump.
The Alternating Pressure Relief Bubble Pad System from Invacare is a 2.5″ thick mattress with a pump specifically designed for therapy treatment and prevention of Stage l pressure sores.
The control knob turns the unit on and off and adjusts the comfort range in 8 levels.
Full Mattress Replacement
Another option is a full mattress replacement. The Alternating Pressure Mattress by Vive. It is a 3″ thick mattress that aids in the treatment of pressure sores in Stages I and II.
The Therapeutic Foam 5 Zone Pressure Reduction Support Mattress by Drive Medical is a deluxe, deep foam mattress also designed to prevent pressure related bed sores and ulcers.
The Drive Medical mattress features an egg crate top layer to reduce painful pressure points and increases comfort and support.
The removable nylon cover reduces friction and minimizes resistance to ensure optimal skin integrity.
It’s also breathable, waterproof, machine washable and anti-microbial.
Air Pressure Mattress System
Once bed sores develop, a more sophisticated air pressure mattress system may be needed.
The Roho Dry Floatation Mattress has rows of soft, interconnected, air-filled cells that conforms precisely to the contours of the body, providing “passive compression therapy” against the skin. This allows for enhanced blood flow to the wound site, maximizing the healing process.
Don’t let its simplicity fool you. The performance, efficiency and quality of this overlay system are unequaled in the industry.
Comprised of soft, interconnected air cells, the DRY FLOATATION mattress overlay conforms precisely to the body’s contours, helping soft tissue to maintain its shape in order to maximize the healing process as well as prevention.
- With 720 air cells, this mattress overlay allows for greater conformity and better pressure distribution. Each cell is specially treated to minimize friction and resulting shear.
- The four sections of the mattress overlay are independently adjusted, providing a low-pressure environment over the entire contact area of the body.
- The DRY FLOATATION system provides prevention and therapeutic coverage for all pressure injuries including deep tissue injuries. The ability to “float” in the mattress overlay promotes healing and reduces soft tissue deformation.
- Using laser Doppler velocimetry in a year long study*, it was proven that blood flow increased at least four times the base line value when a individual was immersed in the DRY FLOATATION mattress overlay. (* Jacobs, Mary Ann, MSN RN. “Compression of Capillary Blood Flow Using a Regular Hospital Bed Mattress, ROHO Mattress, and Mediscus.” Rehabilitation Nursing 14.5 (September/October 1989).)
- Drainage holes in the base of the mattress overlay allows for moisture to drain away from the body.
- Adjustable. 3.5″ (8 cm) high air cells can be adjusted to the individual’s body shape and size and to their position over time.
- Non-powered. Requires no external power source.
- Easy to clean. May be cleaned and disinfected. See operations manual for instructions.
- Repairable. Extends overall life of the mattress overlay.
Be sure to ask your doctor for guidance on the right pressure mattress to prevent and/or manage bed sores if you will be in bed for a prolonged period of time.
Thoughts, questions, tips? Feel free to comment below.
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