Buying guidelines for choosing the best pressure relieving mattress
If you’re considering buying a pressure redistribution mattress for yourself or someone in your care many aspects must be kept in mind. This buying guide will give you all the necessary information needed to make a wise decision.
Many people are confined to the bed for an extended period or have limited mobility due to an injury or chronic illness. This can put them in danger of skin breakdown, rashes and tissue damage which can turn into painful wounds. Pressure management mattresses are essential to manage and prevent the development of sores and ulcers. The units help in reducing stress on the vulnerable joints of the body, easing pain and bestowing exceptional comfort. The selection of this specialized equipment is however complex as it involves many factors. Here are a few general guidelines to help you buy the best unit.
The pressure relieving mattress comes in many varieties which work in diverse ways. Popular among these include:
- Memory Foam Mattresses: Made from high-density foam the mattresses create a soft sleeping surface. The units offer support, conform to the body shape and uniformly distributes pressure even when a person is lying in the same position for a long stretch. Apart from pressure relief, they provide comfort and prevent shearing.
- Medical Air Mattresses: The medical air mattress is designed with a series of air cells. It is powered by a pump that deflates and inflates to promote blood circulation and alter the distribution of pressure as per the comfort needs of the user. These units are ideal for bed bound people who are unable to reposition themselves.
- Hybrid Mattresses: A blend of air bladders and high-grade foam, the hybrid mattress is quite effective in treating as well as mitigating the risk of pressure wounds. The modes of the unit can be tweaked according to the changing needs of the patient. It is believed to be suitable for those deemed at very high risk of affliction.
- Overlay Mattress Pads: The overlay pads that are placed on the top of standard mattresses provide patients with a comfortable and soft foam interface. They are cool, enable free airflow and help ease the pressure on the sensitive and painful areas of the body.
Skin assessment by a certified healthcare professional is imperative to establish the status of an incapacitated patient’s existing condition and his/her risk of developing ulcers. This helps in deciding which mattress matches an individual’s needs and is most appropriate to reduce pressure on the susceptible body parts.
Bed & Bed Fittings:
The mattress should be compatible with the bed and fit snugly. Further, bed trimmings like headrest or fixtures like a lever must be taken into account to ensure they do not hinder the effectiveness of the pressure mattress. And yes, the unit needs to be comfortable to guarantee a good night’s rest.
The functional ability of the patient also needs to be factored. Can the user self-mobilise and move out of bed without assistance? It is essential to verify the mattress doesn’t inhibit transfer. Also, the mattress must be capable of supporting the weight of the user.
The bottom line is that there is no all-purpose mattress to address the wound care problem adequately. Matching the right mattress to the patient’s requisites is the key. While an overlay may suffice for a patient regarded as high risk, someone with debilitating pressure wounds might need an air mattress or an alternating pressure unit. That said, we hope these general buying guidelines will help you find a pressure management mattress which provides the best possible care.