For patients suffering from, or at a high-risk of, pressure ulcers, a low air loss alternating pressure mattress can be an essential form of treatment. With a proper treatment plan and a prevention program, an air mattress can dramatically reduce the frequency of these unwanted occurrences and help treat them when they arise, ensuring the ultimate comfort on the road of recovery.
What is an air mattress?
A low air loss mattress is a mattress designed to prevent and treat pressure wounds. The mattress is composed of multiple inflatable air tubes that alternately inflate and deflate, mimicking the movement of a patient shifting in bed or being rotated by a caregiver, never leaving the patient in one position for any extended length of time. This action relieves pressure under the body – particularly in parts with less padding, like hips, shoulders, elbows, and heels – and helps ensure proper air circulation, helping to prevent, manage, and treat the occurrence of pressure wounds. Some air mattresses have a low air loss function that uses a positive airflow to create a thermal-moisture gradient beneath a vapor permeable cover. This serves to keep the skin cool and dry. This method is preferred for patients requiring proactive microclimate management.
Who can benefit from a low air loss mattress?
Low air loss mattresses can be used for both the prevention and treatment of pressure wounds, and are well suited to any patients susceptible to these events such as those who are immobilized or lack adequate sensory perception (e.g. those with spinal cord injuries or neurological conditions), or patients with medical conditions affecting blood flow; essentially any patient that is unable to shift and reposition themselves while lying in bed.
For patients with a stage 3 wound or multiple stage 2 wounds, a low air loss mattress is absolutely essential for both comfort and treatment.
Sleep, an essential component of optimal health
The NIH’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says, “sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being.” Sleep is involved in many essential processes, including the healing and repair of blood vessels (key when dealing with pressure wounds), so taking care to create the best possible sleep and resting environment for patients should be a top priority for healthcare providers.
Among other benefits, quality sleep ensures optimal immune function, a healthy metabolism, and a strong memory. When patients are deprived of sleep they may have trouble controlling their emotions and coping with change (concerning for individuals dealing with health problems or long-term illness). In addition, sleep deficiency has been linked to depression and suicide, so to mitigate any compounding conditions, caregivers need to make use of every resource available to provide the best possible environment for patients in their care.
Is this available under the rental program?