People who use wheelchairs for much of the day or who must stay in bed for long stretches of time are at a great risk to develop painful Pressure Ulcers also called Pressure sores or Bed sores. Pressure ulcers are caused by prolonged pressure and shear over the skin especially on bony areas of the body such as the heels, ankles, hips, tailbone, back of head, back and shoulder blades.
Pressure injuries can develop quickly, sometimes in as little as several hours without movement. This condition is often avoidable using prevention strategies such as daily monitoring, re-positioning the patient often, maintaining a healthy diet and exercise, keeping the skin clean and dry, changing clothing and bedding in cases of incontinence and the use of supportive devices such as cushions and mattresses.
A proper pressure relieving mattress is an essential component to help protect the individual who is at a risk of developing pressure sores. They help people who have lost the ability to move in bed or with a lowered mental awareness level. Mattresses for bedsores feature air-filled channels that automatically inflate and deflate on a set schedule thus changing the pressures on a given point on the body. This increases blood flow and improves circulation to prevent ulceration and bedsores. Alternating Pressure Mattresses greatly lower the risk of pressure sores and keeps the patient comfortable by eliminating frequent waking up, lifting and turning every couple of hours.
In the worst cases, pressure injuries can become life threatening. That’s why it’s crucial to contact a healthcare professional at the first sign of a pressure injury.