Pressure Redistribution Methods

Posted on March 14 2012

Wounds and ulcers can present a significant challenge to patients and healthcare workers and they can occur for a variety of reasons. There are methods of preventing and treating wounds to ensure comfort and reduce the risk of recurring or chronic wounds which may lead to discomfort, infection, or worse. Prevention and treatment is primarily centered around pressure redistribution methods which reduces or reallocates pressure around target areas.

Physical pressure redistribution methods include repositioning and movement at regular intervals to shift weight to alternate areas allowing a relief of stress to each area. Mobile patients should be advised to shift weight at least once every 15 minutes if they are able. Chair bound patients should be repositioned or shifted between bed and chair at least hourly. Bed restricted patients require turning and repositioning every two hours. If an individual is to be moved it is advisable to use draw sheets to reduce friction and shear.

In addition to regular monitoring and care, cushions, overlays, mattress systems, and positioning devices may be used as pressure redistribution methods. Cushions help to support and distribute weight and often come in gel, foam, or air. There are a variety of chair cushions to choose from. Overlays are typically placed over mattresses and are made from the same material as chair cushions. Like cushions, there are many style options for various weights and conditions. Mattress systems help to regulate pressure, moisture, and positioning. Some examples of mattress systems include low-air loss, Air Fluidized, Alternating Pressure, and Passive Motion systems. Items commonly used before upgrading to an overlay or mattress system are referred to as positioning devices. Positioning involves using bolsters, wedges, and various other inserts to redistribute pressure away from trouble zones.

Care should be taken with any pressure redistribution methods to verify that the wound is healing and that no other sores are developing. Elevation should typically remain below 30 degrees and should be the lowest possible amount otherwise it may result in undue stress on other regions of the body.

Mountainside Medical Equipment proudly offers a variety of products used in the above pressure redistribution methods. Enjoy the most competitive pricing on high quality products for positioning, mattress overlays, mattress systems, and wheelchair cushions online today, or call to speak with a friendly representative at 1-888-687-4334.