Why Do Hospitals Need Pressure Relieving Mattresses?

There are many different challenges that hospitals face on a daily basis. With so many patients with different conditions, illnesses, injuries, and treatments to contend with, one of the biggest things to get right is the provision of contract bedding that suits the needs of the majority of patients at any given time. Within the scope of choosing a medical mattress, a hospital or other type of medical or care home setting is usually looking for pressure relieving mattresses to help patients stay comfortable and hygienic during a prolonged stay in bed.

What are pressure ulcers?

Pressure sores are wounds that can develop on the body where there is constant pressure and/or friction. They are more likely to develop in patients in hospital who are confined to bed for long periods of time.

What is a pressure relieving mattress?

Any person that spends a long time in bed is under threat of suffering from pressure ulcers. These type of people require assistance and comfort wherever possible and a pressure relieving mattress is a great way to provide the best chance of this. They work in a way that helps to reduce the amount of pressure being applied to the body, and specific joints and pressure points in particular, and on top of that provide a good level of comfort that helps the patient to stay comfortable and to sleep well. This is vital in helping to provide a good foundation of sleep, rest, and recovery, which is something that all patients need in hospital.

What are the different types of pressure relieving mattress?

There are four main types of pressure relieving mattress to consider for a hospital setting:

Static mattress (foam) – these types of mattress help to deliver pressure relief through the use of the highest quality of foam material. They are designed to help reduce shear and friction and are suitable for those people who are at medium risk of developing a pressure ulcer. There are other combinations of foam and other materials that can increase the relief for those who are at a higher risk of suffering pressure ulcers.

Dynamic mattress – alternating or dynamic mattresses are sometimes referred to as an air mattress or airflow mattress. They use air cells to inflate and deflate the mattress alternately, powered by a control unit. As the cells deflate and inflate it helps to relieve pressure in those specific areas, a cyclical process that helps all areas of the body to feel relief from pressure and gives a better chance of prevention of ulcers and pressure points developing.

Crossover mattresses – these types of mattresses combine foam and air together for maximum effectiveness. They are sometimes controlled by a power unit like an airflow mattress, but not always. Typically, they have a foam core, wrapped within an air cell, or have air cells below with a foam top layer.

Low air loss mattress – these are designed to relieve pressure but to not alternate like the dynamic mattress above. Through carefully placed perforations in each air cell, there is a reduction in heat and perspiration on the skin, helping to reduce the risks of pressure sores developing.

Choosing the correct pressure relieving mattress is key to any hospital or care home setting, providing an optimal level of comfort and pressure relieving properties for a wide range of patients and needs.