Computational studies of the biomechanical efficacy of a minimum tissue deformation mattress in protecting from sacral pressure ulcers in a supine position

Maayan Lustig, Amit Gefen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sustained soft tissue exposure to localised deformations is a trigger for the formation of pressure ulcers. Immersion and envelopment are critical benchmarks that determine comfort and the pressure ulcer risk mitigation, as they have considerable influence on tissue stress concentrations near bony prominences. In the present study, we developed a computer modelling framework for quantifying the extent by which optimal envelopment disperses tissue stress concentrations near the sacrum. To compare the risk of developing a sacral pressure ulcer while lying supine on a regular foam mattress with respect to lying on a specialised, minimum tissue deformation mattress (which closely conforms to the body contours), we used a three-dimensional anatomically-realistic model of the adult female buttocks. The strains and stresses in the subdermal soft tissues reached peak values of 65% and 2.4 kPa for the regular mattress, respectively, but always remained below 45% and 1.2 kPa for the minimum tissue deformation mattress, which indicates longer safe times for supine support on the latter mattress. Our work demonstrates that alleviation of localised, sustained stress concentrations through good immersion and envelopment of the support surface protects from pressure ulcers, and has the potential to relieve chronic pain which is associated with the pressure ulcer risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1111-1120
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Wound Journal
Volume19
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Keywords

  • biomechanical phenomena
  • computer simulation
  • immersion
  • preventive health care
  • soft tissue injury

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