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Pressure Ulcer Prevention: Low Air Loss, Lateral Rotation Mattresses

Posted on: December 21st, 2012 in Mattresses by MDSBlogger |

Patients that are immobilized or confined to bed for long periods of time face many difficulties. They may have to be fed, washed and clothed by others, and they don’t have much control over their own situation. However, one of the larger obstacles bed-bound patients have to face is pressure ulcers.

Pressure ulcers like this one a hard to treat once they have formed, so having the right low air loss or lateral rotational mattress is key to prevention.

Pressure ulcers occur on points of the body that are in contact with surfaces and bear weight for periods of time, causing friction. This friction results in the breakdown of skin tissue and blood vessels at those points, which are often the hips, buttocks, tailbone, shoulders and heels. The breakdown creates a pressure ulcer, a painful open wound.

However, not all the news is bad. Pressure ulcers can be prevented through careful skin care and using either a low air loss mattress or a lateral rotation mattress.

Low air loss mattresses literally “float” the patient on top of air-filled cells that help to distribute body weight evenly, thus reducing the effect of weight bearing on any one part of the body. Air also circulates across the patient’s skin to decrease moisture and keep a constant skin interface pressure for pressure ulcer prevention. Some low air loss models also use alternating pressure, meaning that certain air cells inflate and deflate to change pressure points.

On the other hand, lateral rotation mattresses move and rotate the patient from side to side to cyclically change pressure points. This is done with minimal distress to the patient, and also helps reduce pulmonary complications, increases circulation and stimulates the GI tract.

Both low air loss and lateral rotation mattresses are great tools to combat the development of pressure ulcers to keep your immobilized loved one healthy and comfortable. We would love to help with your pressure reducing care needs, so browse our online store today to see the mattresses we have on hand.

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