Pressure-relieving devices and supports for pressure sores

Several pressure-relieving devices and supports can be used to prevent or treat pressure sores. These include:1, 2

  • Special foam overlays for mattresses. Talk to your doctor about where to get this special foam for medical use.
  • Air-fluidized support, which forces air through a special covering on the bed to make it softer or more like liquid. The air can be turned alternately on and off, to periodically relieve the pressure. This device can be used in a bed or on an operating table.
  • Special sheepskin overlays on mattresses. Talk to your doctor about where to get this special sheepskin for medical use.
  • Constant low-pressure supports, such as mattresses, overlays, and cushions made of high-density or contoured foam that can be filled with air, water, beads, or fiber. These supports help distribute body weight evenly and may relieve contact pressure.
  • Low air-loss beds, which have inflatable upright sacs made of a special fabric in their mattresses. The inflated sacs help distribute body weight more evenly over the mattress and may relieve pressure on the skin.

Citations

  1. Cullum N, Petherick E (2008). Pressure ulcers, search date February 2007. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence. Also available online: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
  2. Reddy M, et al. (2006). Preventing pressure ulcers: A systematic review. JAMA, 296(8): 974–984.

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