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The Importance of Pressure Relief Systems in Medical Beds


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Pressure ulcers, or bed sores, affect over 400,000 Australians each year. These ulcers can lead to serious complications, including infections and tissue necrosis, significantly impacting a patient’s quality of life and increasing healthcare costs.

The importance of pressure relief systems in medical beds cannot be overstated. These systems are essential for pressure ulcer prevention by distributing pressure evenly and reducing the risk of tissue damage. They play a crucial role in promoting patient comfort and well-being, ensuring that individuals receive the care they need to recover and maintain their health.

Understanding Pressure Ulcers: A Positive Approach

Pressure ulcers are injuries to the skin and underlying tissue caused by prolonged pressure on the skin. These injuries typically occur over bony prominences such as the hips, heels, and elbows. Pressure ulcers can progress through four stages:

  • Stage 1: This is the mildest stage, where the skin is intact but may appear red or discoloured. The affected area may feel warm or tender to the touch. At this stage, the skin is not broken, but it indicates that there is damage to the underlying tissue.
  • Stage 2: In this stage, the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and part of the underlying layer of skin (dermis) are damaged or lost. The wound may appear as an abrasion, blister, or shallow crater. It is typically painful and may ooze or be moist.
  • Stage 3: This stage involves the full thickness of the skin and may extend into the subcutaneous tissue (the layer of fat beneath the skin). The wound may appear as a deep crater and may involve undermining of the surrounding skin. There may be a visible layer of yellowish tissue (slough) or dead tissue (eschar) in the wound bed.
  • Stage 4: This is the most severe stage, where the ulcer extends through all layers of the skin, exposing muscle, bone, or supporting structures such as tendons or joints. The wound may appear as a deep crater with significant tissue loss. Infections and other complications are more likely at this stage.


Pressure Relief Systems

While pressure ulcers can pose serious health risks, including infection and delayed wound healing, it’s important to remember that with proper care and attention, preventing pressure ulcers is possible. Understanding the causes and stages can help caregivers and healthcare providers to take proactive measures in preventing or treating pressure ulcers.

By promoting skin health, ensuring adequate nutrition, and using pressure-relieving devices such as medical beds, we can significantly reduce pressure ulcer risk and enhance the well-being of those in our care.

By promoting skin health, ensuring adequate nutrition, and using pressure-relieving devices such as medical beds, we can significantly reduce pressure ulcer risk and enhance the well-being of those in our care.

The Benefits of Pressure Relief Systems in Medical Beds

Imagine spending long periods lying down – it wouldn’t be long before you started feeling uncomfortable, right? This can be a major concern in medical settings, as constant pressure in certain areas can lead to pressure sores.

Benefits of Pressure Relief Systems in Medical Beds

The good news is that there’s something that can help in pressure ulcer treatment and prevention: pressure relief systems in medical beds. These clever systems come in various forms, like alternating pressure mattresses and low air loss static surface beds. They can help:

  • Redistribute pressure: They constantly shift pressure points by inflating and deflating different sections of the mattress. This prevents any one area from being under constant pressure, which is what can damage your skin.
  • Improve circulation: Pressure relief systems help by reducing pressure on bony areas like your hips, heels, and elbows. This allows blood to flow more freely, delivering oxygen and nutrients to your skin, and increasing pressure ulcer healing.
  • Enhance comfort and sleep quality: Pressure relief systems help by minimising pressure points, leading to a more even distribution of weight across the body, giving the patient a more comfortable sleeping experience, which is crucial for overall well-being and recovery.

Choosing the Right Pressure Relief System

Now that you understand the power of pressure relief systems, let’s explore how to find the perfect one for you or a loved one. Remember, the best system depends on a patient’s individual needs and preferences. Here are some key factors to consider:

Your Medical Condition

  • Mobility limitations: The severity of mobility issues will influence the level of pressure relief needed. If a patient has limited ability to reposition themselves, a more advanced system might be necessary in preventing or healing pressure ulcers.
  • Pressure ulcer risk factors: Certain medical conditions and medications can increase the risk of developing pressure ulcers. Discussing this with a doctor can help determine the appropriate level of pressure relief.
  • Skin integrity: If there are existing skin problems or fragile skin involved, a gentler system focusing on reducing friction might be preferred.

Your Bed Setup

  • Compatibility: Ensure the chosen system is compatible with the existing bed frame and functionalities. Some systems might require specific weight capacities or attachments.

Comfort Preferences

  • Material type: Consider the surface material – some offer a more clinical feel, while others prioritise comfort with softer materials.
  • Noise level: Certain systems can generate some noise. If noise sensitivity is a concern, discuss quieter options with a healthcare provider.
  • Adjustability features: Some systems offer adjustable settings for pressure levels, head and leg elevation, and even temperature control. Choose features that best suit a patient’s needs and preferences.

Types of pressure relief systems

  • Alternating pressure air mattresses: These popular medical bed mattresses feature air cells that inflate and deflate periodically, constantly shifting pressure points. Alternating pressure air surfaces are a good choice for moderate to high-risk patients and offer a balance of affordability and effectiveness.
  • Low air loss with static surface beds: These medical bed systems combine a low-pressure air flow with a static support surface. They are ideal for patients with fragile skin or excessive moisture concerns, as the air circulation helps manage these issues.

Patients using these types of mattresses are more likely to achieve healed pressure ulcers compared to those using regular mattresses, especially in long-term settings. Consulting with a healthcare professional is crucial for selecting the most suitable pressure relief system for specific needs.

Rest Easy, Recover Faster

Pressure relief systems are more than just fancy gadgets for medical beds – they’re true essentials for comfort and well-being during recovery. These systems prevent pressure injuries, improve circulation, and promote better sleep, helping complete pressure ulcer healing faster.

Looking for high-quality medical beds with advanced pressure relief features to reduce pressure ulcer incidence? Hello Mobility offers a wide range of options to suit your needs. Contact us or visit our website or showroom to explore the possibilities and find the perfect bed for increasing overall quality of life.