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What are Pressure Ulcers?
Ultimately, Pressure Ulcers (sometimes called Pressure Sores) develop when there is continued pressure being placed on a certain portion of the body.
Sustained pressure on sections of the body impacts the blood supply to that specific area of skin. By restricting the blood flow, you are also restricting the supply of oxygen and nutrients necessary in keeping the skin healthy. If blood supply is completely cut off over a prolonged period of time skin tissue will die.
A restricted blood supply also means no white blood cells are able to access that area. Meaning that there is a much higher risk of infection and that area of the skin won’t be able to fight any bacteria.
People who are not affected by mobility issues when lying down or sitting do not get pressure ulcers. This is because our bodies make hundreds of minute movements that prevent pressure building. Even whilst reading this you will have made adjustments as areas become uncomfortable. You will also on average change position up to 20 times a night when you are asleep.
Pressure Ulcers can be caused by the following:
- Sustained pressure from a surface i.e. a chair or bed
- Excess moisture on the skin can result in the breakdown of skin tissue
It can take different lengths of time for a pressure ulcer to appear as this can depend on the period of time that the skin was under pressure and how susceptible the individuals' skin is to damage.
Higher graded pressure ulcers (Three to Four) can appear quickly. In vulnerable people, this could be a couple of hours. In others the damage may only show up after a few days.
Sitting has been implicated as a primary cause of pressure ulcers with 75% of patient’s weight distributed over 8% of the body surface area.
Renray Healthcare has successfully implemented many chair replacement schemes at a number of NHS Trusts. Predominately supplying the Elite chair range which was designed using anthropometric data which highlights 13 critical dimensions to achieve good sitting posture. As standard the Elite chair is supplied with a pressure reducing seat cushion. The visco-elastic seat cushion helps in the treatment and management of pressure ulcers with frequent monitoring and repositioning.
• Impressive pressure reduction testing
• The 10° recline assists spinal alignment
• Option of a seat board (SB) to allow specialist cushions to be used
Other ranges available with pressure cushions are the Balero, Baroque, Prestige, Renray, Snowdon and other upholstered chair ranges on request.
The correct support surface provides people with the pressure relief they need to prevent pressure ulcers from developing. These are the buzz words to look out for when selecting the correct mattress to help prevent pressure sores:
Shearing is when there is downward pressure and friction placed on the skin tissue. Our mattresses have properties necessary to stop shear in residents - we use a four way stretch fabric that reduces friction and lessens shear.
When heat and moisture builds up around the skin, tissue can weaken and crack which means there is an increased likelihood of pressure sores. This is more pronounced when mobility is a problem and residents are lying down for very long periods of time. Our mattress ranges overcome this issue by providing vapour permeable and breathable mattress covers, these aid in regulating air flow and maintain a constant body temperature.
Dynamic hybrid mattress replacement systems, providing high levels of care and comfort with an ultra-low profile.
The best possible pressure area care
The Diamond at only 12.5cm deep shows comparable pressure mapping to traditional deeper mattresses. In addition it provides greater comfort, an improved surface for therapy and greater independent user mobility.
The Diamond “Ventilated Stacked Cell Technology” with smaller cells and integrated memory foam base-layer reduces shear and friction especially when the mattress is profiled.
The narrow cells provide better support and improved profiling compared to deeper systems with wider cells.
Diamond MRS - Interface Pressure Mapping
Tested with a 55kg/160cm female subject:
99% < 32mmHg
96% < 20mmHg
72% < 12mmHg
Check out our range of pressure area care mattresses here