The appearance of bedsores in immobilized patients is a serious problem that complicates the treatment of the underlying disease and, if the necessary measures are not taken in time, can result in serious complications.
The main cause of this lesion is prolonged pressure on certain parts of the body of a person who is lying motionless (as a rule, these are places above the bony protrusions – scapula, sacrum, heels, buttocks, etc.), as a result of which blood supply and nutrition of the skin are disrupted in these places and soft tissues, which can lead to their necrosis. The resulting wounds will bring additional suffering to an already exhausted patient, and their healing is not an easy process.
Using an anti-decubitus mattress will protect your loved one from their formation, and if the pressure sores have already appeared, it will speed up healing. In addition, such a system greatly facilitates the care of a patient who has lost mobility..
The assortment of anti-decubitus mattresses is quite diverse, so you can choose the most suitable option, taking into account the condition of a person who needs constant care.
This article will help you make the right choice and tell you what points you should pay attention to when buying and using this product..
Types and description
Depending on the principle of operation, anti-bedsore mattresses are divided into two main types:
- Standalone (without compressor), or static. For their work, no external power source is required, and natural or artificial materials are used as fillers. It is due to the features of the filler, which will be discussed a little later, that these mattresses have an orthopedic and anti-decubitus effect..
- Volatile or dynamic. Such mattresses are equipped with a compressor, therefore, collectively, this is also often called the anti-decubitus system. An external power supply is required to operate such a system. The compressor alternately supplies and blows air into special air chambers, so the surface of the mattress is in constant motion. The pressure on different parts of the human body either increases or decreases, therefore, normal blood circulation and tone are maintained in the soft tissues.
By the type of air chambers, a dynamic mattress can be balloon (or tubular) and cellular – the surface of such a product looks like a honeycomb. Many dynamic models are produced with surface perforations: constant air circulation occurs through the micro-holes.
Blowing mattresses provide constant access of air to the patient’s skin, protecting it from overheating, maintain an optimal microclimate between the surface and the human body, dry out wounds that have already formed and thereby contribute to their healing.
It should be noted that such systems have a wide range of loads (minimum – from 5 kg), which makes it possible to use them, including for pediatric patients..
Principle of operation
In the work of autonomous mattresses, such qualities of their fillers as viscosity, elasticity and fluidity are used, as well as the features of the structure of their surface (it can have many cells or porous segments that work independently of each other). Thanks to all these qualities, the surface of the product adjusts to the shape of the body of the person lying on it, repeating all its anatomical features.
Load evenly distributed throughout the body, decreasing in problem areas and restoring normal blood and lymph flow. This minimizes the risk of pressure ulcers..
In dynamic mattresses, the compressor alternately fills the chambers with air, due to which there is a constant change in pressure in different zones of the mattress and a continuous massage effect of tissues is carried out, blood circulation and tissue nutrition are improved. This prevents pressure ulcers and speeds up the healing of existing wounds..
For the manufacture of high-quality mattresses, they usually use, polyurethane filler (PPU) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). High-quality polyurethane foam with a high degree of viscosity and elasticity is used for the production of self-contained anti-decubitus mattresses. It is a modern synthetic material that does not cause allergies, is resistant to the action of fungi and microorganisms, is breathable and does not absorb moisture..
It does not heat up from the human body and keeps it cool, and this is a significant plus in the case of increased sweating in a patient (one of the risk factors for the formation of pressure sores).
Air, water and other natural materials, such as millet or flax seeds, are also used as fillers for static models of mattresses. There are also mattresses with gel filler.
Plus vinyl oilcloth (PVC) is the strength and the fact that this material is easy to clean. The possibility of self-repair is also important (usually a repair kit is attached). Rubberized fabric is often used (PVC + nylon), it is warmer and more comfortable for patients than oilcloth.
Anti-bedsore mattresses come in standard sizes (for example, 80-90 cm wide and 190-200 cm long), children’s (60-70 cm wide and 140 cm long) and for obese people (bariatric). Before purchasing this product, you need to measure the length and width of the bed on which it will be placed. If the mattress is too large, it will interfere with its work and significantly reduce the therapeutic effect. In the case when the product is much smaller than the bed, the patient may experience significant inconvenience, which will not slow down to affect his well-being..
Advantages and disadvantages
If the mattress is chosen correctly, then its use has many positive aspects, because the invention of this product is a real gift for immobilized people, as well as for those who care for them. In addition to the fact that the threat of the formation of pressure sores disappears and those that have already appeared will heal faster, the pain in the muscles disappears, because the blood flow is no longer disturbed, and the tissues receive nutrition and oxygen without hindrance..
A high-quality mattress will provide air ventilation and protect the body of a lying person from overheating and the negative effects of sweat as one of the risk factors for bedsores. These mattresses have a massage effect and improve sleep..
Materials used for the production of these products, easy to clean and sanitize, which greatly facilitates the care of patients who are unable to control the processes of urination and defecation.
A significant disadvantage of anti-decubitus mattresses is that there are contraindications for certain categories of patients. Forbidden use these mattresses on occasions, when the spinal column is injured, especially if the bone marrow is affected, as well as with skeletal-cervical extracts. Very obese people with a body weight exceeding the maximum load on the product should not be used.
How to choose?
You can purchase an anti-decubitus mattress only after consulting your doctor. It is he who will assess the general condition of the patient and his skin, the absence of contraindications and recommend which type of mattress is right for him.
There are general rules that can help you when choosing such products:
- Static (autonomous) mattresses filled with viscoelastic polyurethane foam and some other fillers are intended for people who have been prescribed a long bed rest, but at the same time they have retained full or partial mobility. Such products will protect patients from the appearance of pressure sores and have a good orthopedic effect..
- Cellular dynamic systems are suitable for the prevention and treatment of first or second degree pressure ulcers in people weighing up to 120 kg, completely immobilized or retained some mobility (for example, they can independently change their position).
- Balloon (tubular) mattresses provide prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers up to the fourth degree. They are used for completely immobilized patients, including people weighing from 120 to 160 kg.
When buying, you should also take into account some nuances: for example, if you need a dynamic anti-decubitus system, ask what is the compressor noise level. An indicator of 10-15 decibels indicates a high quality of the system. Considering the duration of continuous operation, a compressor that is too noisy may interfere with the patient.
It is very good if the system has a static pressure function. By switching the system to this function, it is possible to ensure the immovability of the mattress surface for some time, which is necessary, for example, when performing any procedures. People with excessive sweating should buy, depending on the indications, either mattresses with polyurethane foam, or dynamic systems with blowing.
The patient’s weight should not exceed the maximum allowable, otherwise the mattress will sag, problem areas of the body will touch the surface of the bed and the therapeutic effect will be reduced to zero.
How to use?
Static models, as a rule, are laid on the bed base and used independently instead of a regular mattress. Before you start using the pressure sore system, you need to study the instructions for use in detail and save the algorithm of actions recommended by the manufacturer..
Dynamic models are laid out on top of the mattress with air chambers up, positioning them so that the air duct hoses are located at the foot of the bed. The free edges are folded under a regular mattress. Then attach the compressor by attaching it to the headboard or installing it side by side. In this case, it is important that the compressor is not near sources of heat or moisture, and does not interfere with the movement, so that no one can accidentally touch it. Anti-bedsore mattress covered with bedding.
Pins should not be used to secure the sheet because they can damage the product..
Make sure that the duct hoses are not pinched or under the mattress. Ensure that the decubitus system is working properly and that all air chambers are alternately filled and deflated before bedding the patient..
A very important point that determines the effectiveness of the use of the system against bedsores is correct selection of the required pressure in the chambers. This is directly related to the weight of a person: the greater the weight of the person lying, the more pressure must be created in the chambers. The mattress must have the necessary elasticity to provide the necessary support and at the same time softness, so that problem areas of the body are not squeezed and gently sank into it..
You can check whether there is sufficient pressure in the system by passing a few fingers between the bed and one of the sections of the mattress in the area of the greatest pressure of the patient’s body on the surface (approximately in the buttocks area). If for this you need to apply force or fingers do not pass at all, the pressure in the system is insufficient and it must be increased. Too free access, on the contrary, indicates that the pressure is too high and needs to be reduced..
Strict implementation of the manufacturer’s recommendations for the operation and care of the anti-decubitus system is the key to its long service life..
How to properly deflate?
Before storing or transporting the product, it must be vented. To do this, it must be disconnected from the compressor, after which the air will freely leave the chambers. The mattress prepared in this way is turned over with the air sections down and carefully rolled up in the direction from the entry point of the air ducts to the headboard. The disconnected compressor must be turned on again and make sure that it is working properly (air is released alternately from the air ducts), then turn it off and remove the tubes. They are placed in a bag so that they do not bend. Store the mattress in a clean, dry and cool place away from sunlight.
The medical equipment market offers a wide range of anti-decubitus mattresses and systems from various manufacturers. A company known for its products not only in Russia, but also abroad “Armed” offers cellular and tubular dynamic systems characterized by quality, reliability, ease of use and affordability. These criteria, as well as a large selection of models, characterize the brand Orthoforma (Taiwan). Other foreign companies occupying this market segment are represented by Germany (German brands ADL, Bronigen), Italy (OSD, Gi-emme), Belgium (Eurocare), Holland and USA (Roho).
Let’s characterize some of the most popular models.
Anti-decubitus mattress “Armed” cellular
Designed to prevent pressure ulcers in patients with partial or complete loss of mobility during the recovery postoperative period. Peculiarities:
- The air chambers of the mattress are made in the form of honeycombs, into which air is alternately supplied with the help of a silent compressor.
- The pressure regulation function allows you to create optimal conditions for the patient depending on his weight.
- Made of lightweight and durable PVC, maximum load 120 kg.
- The cycle lasts 12 minutes.
- The system is convenient and easy to operate, the compressor does not take up much space.
Anti-bedsore mattress BAS 3000H Bronigen, Germany
- The cells of this mattress are filled with air in a checkerboard pattern every 8 minutes.
- Thanks to continuous massage, the load is evenly distributed over the entire patient’s body, and laser perforation due to the air flow reduces sweating and dries the skin, so damage on it heals much faster.
This mattress is suitable for people with increased sweating, as well as for patients who do not control bowel and bladder functions..
- The control system is understandable and accessible, a silent but powerful compressor can operate continuously around the clock, providing effective protection of the patient’s skin from pressure ulcers.
- The manufacturer guarantees a year of round-the-clock work of the anti-decubitus system.
- The mattress is made of lightweight and durable material, non-allergenic and easy to clean. Maximum load – 120 kg.
Anti-bedsore mattress Bronigen BAS 4000 C tubular, Germany
Designed for immobilized patients after injuries, cardiovascular diseases and cerebrovascular accidents, as well as in the postoperative period. Specifications:
- Consists of 17 air chambers (cylinders), which are fastened together.
- The cylinders in the center of the product, where the load is greatest, are equipped with micro-holes for air circulation..
- There are several filling cycles. By alternately changing the pressure in the balloons, a relaxing and massage effect is exerted on the entire body of the patient..
- Silent automatic compressor with a guarantee of operation for at least a year.
- Maximum load – 140 kg.
Anti-bedsore mattress Roho “Prodidgy”, USA
A self-contained mattress that works without the use of electricity for the prevention and treatment of mild to moderate skin lesions:
- Thanks to a special flotation technology, an imitation of the enveloping properties of water on the patient’s body is created, as if immersed in it. At the same time, the pressure is distributed evenly, the load and the risk of bedsores are reduced.
- The special technology and thoughtful design of the mattress surface provide a significant reduction in pressure and friction, negating the possibility of damage to the patient’s skin.
- The mattress maintains stability and a comfortable position, since the buoyancy force of the air is the same at any point on its surface.
- Drainage holes protect against moisture accumulation and provide a comfortable microclimate on the surface.
- The product consists of three individually adjustable sections.
- The lower limit by weight is 5 kg, which allows the use of a mattress for children, the upper limit is 136 kg.
Reviews: which is better?
Considering that the anti-decubitus mattress should be selected individually for each patient, depending on his condition and only after consulting a doctor, it is impossible to answer this question unequivocally.
After analyzing the reviews on anti-decubitus mattresses of various manufacturers, we can conclude that the positive effect of the use of such systems is noted by almost everyone.
Such products greatly facilitate the well-being of patients, have a therapeutic effect and help to avoid skin damage even after a long period of immobility, and the healing of previously formed wounds is much faster..
You can find disappointed reviews of consumers who bought inexpensive models. They note their fragility. Many positive reviews for brands from Germany (ADL, Bronigen), USA (Roho), Italian (OSD, Gi-emme). When buying tubular mattresses, you should pay attention to models with independent cylinders, usually the manufacturer adds a spare to them in the kit, with which you can easily replace an element that has become unusable. It is important to inquire before buying., how quiet the compressor is, so that later the patient does not experience discomfort.
A properly selected high-quality anti-decubitus mattress will have a healing effect on the body of a loved one and will allow him to more comfortably endure the period of forced immobility. It remains to add that you need to buy anti-decubitus systems and mattresses only in specialized stores with a certificate of conformity and a medical certificate..
You will learn how to choose an anti-decubitus mattress in the following video..