Pressure relief mattress and overlay pad systems are used to prevent bed sores that are caused due to continuous pressure of lying down in a particular position mostly in patients. These help in dispersing that pressure away from bone protrusions by alternating the pressure.
Most of the support surfaces get compressed when under continuous weight, but not the tissue that lies over the rigid bones. When pressure is applied for continuous durations, these tissues move away from the affected area instead of getting compressed. This distortion of soft tissues from the specified positions causes obstruction to the blood supply, disruption to the lymphatic system, damage to capillaries and finally the tissue breakdown causing bed sores.
To help patients lie comfortably in bed and to prevent bed sores, these pressure relief mattresses are a part of both adult as well as Pediatric Bassinette Mattress. Using these mattresses serves two main functions: one they redistribute pressure and formation of pressure ulcers is prevented and two they provide a very comfortable surface to the patient to lie down peacefully. Depending on the designing of the mattress, the patient’s weight is redistributed in one of the several ways.
The materials used in these mattresses are different. Some people might feel discomfort with some of the materials used (for instance, some people might feel hot and sweaty). Since these toppers are used on the normal bed, it increases the bed height. Thus, if the patient is not having height adjustable bed, it makes the transfer difficult.
It is advised that people who are vulnerable, including those that have developed grade 1 and grade 2 pressure ulcer, should use a high specification foam pressure relief mattress. Patients who have already developed grade 3 and grade 4 ulcer need to use high specification foam mattress with an alternating pressure overlay. They can also try using a system that uses either air or viscous liquid to create a sophisticated but continuous low-pressure system.
Highly obese people are prone to developing bed sores. Using these pressures-relieving mattresses helps their capillaries to fill thereby preventing the blood starvation in them and hence the damage caused due to pressure can be prevented.
Pressure-redistributing surfaces broadly fall into two categories. There are some that reduce the pressure and then there are some that relieve it. Those surfaces that reduce pressure tend to be static. It means that the IP (Interface Pressure) needs to be constant if the patient is not moving. Those support surfaces that relieve pressure can be static or cyclical. The cyclical systems are designed to create an IP that is continuously changing at very low levels and is independent of the movement of the patient.
There are many types of mattresses available and the medical practitioner is the best person to suggest which will best suit a particular patient.