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What is Alternating Pressure Mattress?

Alternating Pressure Mattress

An alternating pressure mattress is a type of pressure relieving mattress that is designed to distribute the weight on various parts of the body. These are usually seen in the medical and caregiving set ups in order to prevent and cure bedsores or pressure ulcers resulting from long hours in bed. In this guide, we will give you an insight into what it is made of, its mechanism of action, different types there are, benefits derived from using them, where they can be used, how they can be used and lastly what to consider when purchasing.

 

Construction and Functionality

Air cells, foam or gels are normally used by these kinds of mattresses which help spread out weight and reduce constant pressure on particular body parts. The air cells or foam adjusts automatically when one point is applied with force thereby releasing the tension allowing blood circulation hence reducing chances for pressurized sores.

 

Working Mechanism

In pressure redistribution way, alternative pressures consist of using air cells technology, foams or gels within them that changes the amount of air inside so that all parts get equal support according to need instead of continuous stress on some areas only; they also reduce skin pressures associated with excessive time or magnitude required for such actions.

  • Air Technology: It is one of the most popular technol- ogies employed in alternating pressure mattresses. Instead of springs, it uses air cells or bubbles to alternate pressure and distribution. This implies that air cells inflate and deflate from time to time, switching contact points between the body and mattress hence reducing constant pressure on specific areas.
  • Foam Technology: These beds can be adjusted based on individual body contouring and weights using memory foam or gel foam. Memory foam can adapt with temperature changes therefore giving a soft feeling while gel foam has cooling effect and relieves pressure.

How to Prevent Bed Sores on A Bedridden Patient

Types of Alternating Pressure Mattresses

The Alternating Pressure Mattress comes in different forms each having unique features and applications:

  • Alternating Pressure Mattress: The use of air cells makes it alternatively inflate and deflate to change the support points for the body. By doing so, this ensures that no single area accumulate more pres- sure than others which may lead to occurrence of bedsores.
  • Static Pressure Relief Mattress: Made typically from memory foam or gel foam, this mattress offers stable continuous support. This type of mattress does not alter its structure but instead provides uniform support based on body’s shape making it ideal for those patients who do not need alternating pressures.
  • Hybrid Alternating Pressure Mattress: Combines air and foam technology, providing dual advantages of alternating and static support. They are commonly used in long-term care environments to ensure comfort and durability.

 

Benefits and Advantages

Alternating pressure mattresses have many advantages, making them an essential tool in medical and caregiving environments:

  • Comfort: By reducing pressure points, they provide greater comfort, especially for patients who need prolonged bed rest.
  • Prevention of Pressure Ulcers: Alternating pressure mattresses can help prevent the formation of pressure ulcers by constantly changing the body’s support points.
  • Improved Circulation: By evenly distributing weight, alternating pressure mattresses can promote blood circulation and reduce the risk of blood stasis.
  • Suitable for Long-Term Use: High-quality alternating pressure mattresses are typically made of durable materials, suitable for long-term use, especially in long-term care facilities.

 

Applicable Users

Alternating pressure mattresses are suitable for various populations, especially those who need prolonged bed rest or have limited mobility:

  • Patients with Limited Mobility: Patients who are bedridden for a long time are most susceptible to pressure ulcers. Alternating pressure mattresses can help reduce this risk.
  • Elderly Patients: Elderly people often have thinner skin and are more susceptible to pressure injuries. Therefore, alternating pressure mattresses are particularly important for them.
  • Postoperative Patients: Patients after surgery need adequate rest and recovery. Alternating pressure mattresses can provide a comfortable environment to help them recover faster.
  • Patients in Long-Term Care: Patients in long-term care facilities need continuous comfort and support. Alternating pressure mattresses can meet this need.

 

Maintenance and Care

To ensure the long-term use and performance of alternating pressure mattresses, regular maintenance and care are required:

  • Regularly check for air leaks or damage to the mattress and repair them promptly.
  • Clean and disinfect according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Store the mattress in a dry and ventilated place when not in use to prevent moisture or contamination.

alternating pressure mattress settings

Purchasing Guide

When purchasing an alternating pressure mattress, consider the following factors:

  1. Size: Ensure that the mattress size matches the bed frame or user’s height.
  2. Weight Capacity: Choose a mattress that can support the user’s weight.
  3. Additional Features: Decide whether additional features such as pressure adjustment, massage functions, etc., are needed.
  4. Budget: Consider the price of the mattress and budget for the purchase, while also exploring insurance coverage or financial assistance available.

An alternating pressure mattress is an effective solution to provide comfortable sleep and prevent pressure ulcers and other health issues associated with prolonged bed rest. By understanding its working mechanism, types, benefits, applicable users, and factors to consider when purchasing, users can choose the right mattress and maximize its comfort and health benefits. Meanwhile, regular maintenance and care are also crucial to ensure the long-term use of the mattress.

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