Pressure injuries are a constant threat for people immobilised by the aging process, physical changes or their medical condition.
They may occur on bony parts of the body and where the skin presses against a firm surface such as a chair or mattress. Increased risk factors include difficulty moving independently, a loss of sensation or poor circulation, moist skin due to perspiration or incontinence, poor nutrition or low BMI, cognitive changes, and those with medical conditions such as diabetes or vascular disease.
Pressure care is all about prevention and the good news is we have plenty of items on the Accessable and Enable lists which you can order for your clients to protect their skin or allow existing pressure injuries to heal.
It’s important to carry out an individualised assessment and consider your client’s 24 hour needs before deciding exactly what to order.
We have a range of pressure care mattresses to meet individual requirements around pressure care and microclimate control. Our range of foam mattresses provide pressure care through immersion and envelopment. Breathable fabrics and a number of different designs are available such as Metzeler’s Prestige Tube mattress which features a system of tubes to allow for airflow and draws moisture away from the body. Alternatively, Aeria’s range of alternating air mattresses are highly effective at offloading pressure.
Several cushions are also on the list, some of which feature an ergonomic design to help achieve correct positioning while seated in a wheelchair or elsewhere. The smaller the contact surface area is, the more vulnerable the skin is to pressure. So it’s well worth investing in a good quality cushion for support.
Heel protectors are also available to tackle this high risk area. They wrap around the foot and ankle to prevent knocks and will greatly assist the healing process if a pressure injury has already occurred.
While there is an excellent range of list equipment available, the most significant factors when it comes to treating pressure injuries will always be prevention and the quality of care a person receives. This complex and multi-factorial issue is an ongoing challenge, but the right equipment paired with the right care is definitely the best approach.
This article has been prepared with the contribution of our in-house Occupational Therapists, Sharon Woodward and Bonnie Chapman. Sharon and Bonnie use their experience to help customers find equipment solutions that will help their clients to achieve the best possible outcomes.