Pressure Care Cushions, Pillows and Mattresses
Spending great lengths of time in the same position can cause varying levels of discomfort, even pain. One common approach applied in order to help with the problem is the use of pressure care cushions, pillows and mattresses. These are specially designed products to help with pressure relief ranging in composition from materials such as basic foam to high density foam, gel and air, depending on individual situations and the level of pressure relief needed. These various materials offer different levels of pressure relief and therefore also vary in prices. It is important to note that, regardless of the level of pressure relief obtained by them, pressure cushions are to be used along with other methods for pressure management as they alone will only aid in pressure relief, instead of actually preventing the development of pressure areas.
In order to choose an appropriate equipment and materials to manage pressure care, it is important to consider each client individually. Each client has unique factors within their environment as well as their genetic makeup or medical history that can affect the level of care needed. In order to obtain the best treatment to meet individual needs, it is important to consult a medical professional such as a therapist or a registered nurse. Primary care physicians may also have good recommendations for seeking consultations from these types of professionals.
What are pressure injuries?
Oxygen and other nutrients are supplied to all parts of our body, including our skin, via blood vessels. When we sit in a fixed position for a long time, constant pressure can be applied to a small area causing restriction of our blood vessels and a reduction in the supply of blood to that area.
This unrelieved pressure and prolonged reduction of blood supply is the most common cause pressure injuries. Pressure ulcers are a type of injury that can affect bed-ridden and hospitalised persons. However, there also are other ways in which pressure injuries can be caused, such as friction, shear, poor nutrition and sensory changes.
Types of Materials Used in Pressure Care Cushions and Similar Products
As mentioned, many materials can be used in the creation of products to help relieve pressure. The following is a description of some commonly used ones and the level of pressure relief that they provide:
Foam comes in many different densities and styles, varying from different compositions of natural to synthetic. Advantages of this material include malleability and low maintenance. Due to its physical properties, it is most helpful for those with low to medium risk of pressure areas.
As with foam, gel comes in many different types. It can be used within a pressure care cushion in many different ways and shapes, such as tiny balls or bigger polygons. Advantages of using gel include stability and ability to absorb vibration. Depending on the type and way in which gel is used, it can be suitable for people with low, medium or even sometimes high risk of pressure areas.
AIR/ ALTERNATING AIR
Air chambers within a pressure care cushion can serve to release pressure since the person using it will be suspended on air pockets. The principle used behind the air technique is the optimum air pressure required to lift a person off surface contact. Alternating air is seen often in a mattress attached to a pump. The chambers in the mattress change pressure. Benefits to using air is that the cushion will be lightweight. However, the air pressure must be maintained. Also, the cushion has a higher risk of being punctured. However, like gel, this product can serve those with up to high risk of pressure areas if the appropriate type is used.
Many fluids, not inclusive of water, often have pressure relief capabilities. They can also be suitable for people with low, medium or high risk of pressure areas. However, when being used in pressure care cushions, these fluids are often used as a combination with other materials for best results.
COMBINATION OF MATERIALS
Some common combinations of the aforementioned materials include gel and air, gel and foam, foam and air and foam and fluid. The benefit of using a combination is that the beneficial properties from each one can be used.
If you feel you would benefit from a pressure care cushion, but are unsure which style will best suit you, we recommend you contact a therapist or registered health professional.
Access Rehab Equipment offers trials within the comfort of your home for no charge. We have the capacity to bring a selection of our cushions for you to trial with one of our experienced product consultants.
Contact us today to discuss your personal requirements.