The Comparison of Alternating Air Pressure Mattresses vs Static Air Mattresses in the Prevention of Pressure Ulcers

Emily Hobbs

Emily Hobbs, Nursing Major, Honors student, graduate in May 2024.

Abstract

The incidence of pressure ulcers is a healthcare problem worldwide. These injuries result from prolonged pressure that leads to tissue breakdown, the effects of lengthy recovery times, or, quite often, in aging populations who are bed-bound. Typically, they develop over bony provinces such as the elbow, heels, and tailbone (Zaidi & Sharma, 2022). Older populations are more susceptible as overall mobility decreases with age. Comorbidities such as vascular disease and diabetes increase the risk for the development of pressure ulcers. Additionally, prolonged immobility, decreased nutrition, and reduced perfusion are contributing factors (Zaidi & Sharma, 2022). There are progressive stages for pressure ulcers starting with skin discoloration, typically pink, all the way to severe tissue and nerve damage that can reach the bone. Interestingly, it only takes about two hours for a bedridden patient to start forming a basis for an ulcer (Zaidi & Sharma, 2022). Prevention is the key to managing these injuries. Hospitals can use multiple strategies to prevent pressure injuries, such as frequent turning and repositioning, different types of support surfaces, air pressure mattresses, and maintaining adequate skin care (Zaidi & Sharma, 2022). Unfortunately, as described by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the incidence of pressure ulcers ranges from, “4% to 38% in hospital wards, and the mortality rate due to pressure ulcers and its associated secondary complications among the elderly is approximately 68%” (National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2021). Annually about 60,000 people die from this potentially preventable complication and cost is also a problem. The healthcare system in the United States spends about $11 billion annually on the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers. (National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2021).

 
Apr 26th, 12:00 PM Apr 26th, 2:00 PM

The Comparison of Alternating Air Pressure Mattresses vs Static Air Mattresses in the Prevention of Pressure Ulcers

Digital Commons & West Campus West Building University Commons

The incidence of pressure ulcers is a healthcare problem worldwide. These injuries result from prolonged pressure that leads to tissue breakdown, the effects of lengthy recovery times, or, quite often, in aging populations who are bed-bound. Typically, they develop over bony provinces such as the elbow, heels, and tailbone (Zaidi & Sharma, 2022). Older populations are more susceptible as overall mobility decreases with age. Comorbidities such as vascular disease and diabetes increase the risk for the development of pressure ulcers. Additionally, prolonged immobility, decreased nutrition, and reduced perfusion are contributing factors (Zaidi & Sharma, 2022). There are progressive stages for pressure ulcers starting with skin discoloration, typically pink, all the way to severe tissue and nerve damage that can reach the bone. Interestingly, it only takes about two hours for a bedridden patient to start forming a basis for an ulcer (Zaidi & Sharma, 2022). Prevention is the key to managing these injuries. Hospitals can use multiple strategies to prevent pressure injuries, such as frequent turning and repositioning, different types of support surfaces, air pressure mattresses, and maintaining adequate skin care (Zaidi & Sharma, 2022). Unfortunately, as described by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the incidence of pressure ulcers ranges from, “4% to 38% in hospital wards, and the mortality rate due to pressure ulcers and its associated secondary complications among the elderly is approximately 68%” (National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2021). Annually about 60,000 people die from this potentially preventable complication and cost is also a problem. The healthcare system in the United States spends about $11 billion annually on the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers. (National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2021).