Gestionnaire de produits - Matelas
Published on November 11, 2022
Addressing pressure injuries constitutes a major concern in healthcare settings. It is, as you are aware, a multifactorial matter that must be considered in all its complexity.
Given the swift technological evolution of support surfaces, it is unsurprising that choosing from the array of models available proves challenging for care teams.
To help you get a clearer view of your options, this article provides a portrait of the different technologies and concepts around which support surfaces are designed.
Let’s start off with a reminder of the common terms or physical concepts related to therapeutic support surfaces:
Therapeutic support surfaces can be split into two main categories.
There are various existing active support surface therapies. The most common types are alternating pressure, static mode (also called ''flotation''), low air loss, and continuous lateral rotation. Support surfaces can offer one or multiple therapies.
A support surface with alternating pressure therapy provides pressure redistribution via cyclic changes in loading and unloading. Air cells in the surface alternately fill and empty to keep bearing weight off bony prominences. This therapy promotes proper blood flow and circulation to the skin for immobilized patients who are unable to frequently shift their weight.
This figure represents how pressure redistribution results from alternatively inflating and deflating air cells in alternating pressure therapy.
When static therapy is selected, the surface maintains all air cells at the same pressure. The air pressure is kept low to allow for immersion and pressure redistribution over the entire contact area. The pressure inside the support surface can also be adjusted to the desired comfort level.
This figure illustrates how all air cells are kept at a lower and equivalent inflation level during static/flotation therapy.
Low air loss surfaces are designed to help regulate the microclimate of the patient’s skin by providing a flow of air directly under the patient through a fluid-resistant yet vapor permeable cover, to assist in managing the heat and humidity of the skin and decrease the risk of maceration.
Low air loss surfaces are therefore often chosen for patients facing humidity and heat buildup issues.
This image represents how the air influx passes through a vapor permeable cover in low air loss therapy.
Support surfaces that offer continuous lateral rotation therapy (CLRT) provide, as the name states, a sideways rotation. Rotation duration, frequency, and turn angle can be adjusted depending upon the specific needs of the patient.
CLRT support surfaces are commonly used for patients that are at risk of developing pulmonary complications due to immobility, such as ventilator-associated pneumonia. In this case, CLRT is most effective when the angle of turn is at a minimum of 40 degrees2. CLRT surfaces can also be used for pressure redistribution to address patients facing immobility issues.
It is important to keep in mind that although the surface does provide some repositioning through the rotation, CLRT does not replace the need for patient repositioning—as it remains necessary to ensure complete off-loading of all body parts.
This figure shows the lateral rotation that occurs in a surface that offers CLRT.
From active to reactive surfaces, alternating pressure therapy to CLRT, these technologies have shown their capabilities of assisting with the prevention and treatment of pressure injuries and other complications associated with immobility. While understanding the different models available is essential to making an informed decision, the right support surface remains the one that addresses the specific needs of your patients, healthcare staff, and institution.
Identifying these particular needs will always be the first step in choosing the right support surface. Our support surfaces specialists are here to help you identify those needs and guide you through our support surface portfolio. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have.
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