Many people in the U.S. suffer from pressure ulcers, which causes not only lots of personal suffering but also expensive treatment. The incidence of pressure ulcer case is still quite high in spite of providing new benchmarks for taking care of this health issue.
This problem can occur in almost all age groups, and there are some risk factors, which are both intrinsic and extrinsic. Most of these ulcers can be prevented, but few cases need special attention. Like any other health problems, it is essential to find the risks of developing the ulcer. Some of the people may be categorized under no risk while others can be at low risk, medium risk, high risk and very high risk.
It is possible to prevent pressure ulcers by eliminating various factors that lead to this problem. Intrinsic factors, however, cannot be eliminated, but shear, pressure, and friction can be minimized or eliminated by proper positioning of the patient or by providing any suitable support system. We need to consider various support systems for the chair as well as beds.
Let us discuss different kinds of support systems that can be considered to tackle the problem of pressure ulcer.
Beds that you can find in different hospitals can be of 2-section manual or King’s fund model to 4-section electric profiling beds. As the patient finds lots of conveniences and therefore manual handling needs are reduced. This also reduces friction when it is used in fully profiled position.
Nowadays, mattresses can be used with profiling beds. However, before ordering these mattresses, you need to confirm from the manufacturer whether they will be entirely compatible with the tempurpedic bed.
• Standard foam mattress
This type of mattress can be conveniently used by those patients who are not at risk of developing pressure ulcers. Even those patients who may need special care in case of surgery and those who are at the risk of getting pressure ulcer may also use such foam mattress. Therefore, standard foam mattresses at hospitals are not good enough to provide sufficient pressure relief.
• Pressure reducing foam mattress
Higher specifications of foam mattresses are needed for those who are vulnerable to the pressure ulcer. Such mattresses are made out of higher density foam. There are viscoelastic foam mattresses available which can match the body contour of the patient. Such foams are good for providing superior pressure reduction and are used in some standard hospitals. Shear and friction are also significantly reduced on its surface. The manufacturers offer an extended warranty against any collapse of foam for at least 7 years.
• Dynamic pressure relieving mattress
This kind of system can provide relief to the body of pressure ulcer patients in cyclical mode. There will be 2 to 4 cells, which will alternate in two different cycles between inflation and deflation. The cycle usually completes within 7 to 10 minutes.
Some companies are producing such pressure ulcer relieving mattress with their own specifications. Depending upon the specification and many other factors, the cost will vary.
There are some mattresses, which can adjust the pressure levels manually based on the weight of the patient. Also, some can adjust the pressure levels automatically based on the weight and position of the patient. Such mattresses have a maximum weight limit.
• Alternating overlays
Such mattress will lie on the top of any base mattress. They are made up of an additional layer of air cells. However, in case of power failure, they may get deflated, and the patient is left with flat mattress, which is placed on top of the base foam mattress. They may not be suitable for those patients, who are of a higher grade of pressure ulcers.
• Replacement mattress
These mattresses are meant for heavier patients with grade 3 or 4 pressure damage, and other mattresses are not suitable for them.