The biomechanical efficacy of a hybrid support surface in protecting supine patients from sacral pressure ulcers

Tomer Katz, Amit Gefen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Support surfaces are the most important pressure ulcer/injury prevention technology available to clinicians for protecting their at-risk patients. A hybrid support surface marries the benefits of reactive and active support surfaces, by using high-quality foam material inside inflatable air cells. When used in its “static mode”, it is a constant low air pressure mattress which delivers pressure redistribution in response to patient bodyweight and movements, by maximising the immersion and envelopment performance of the support surface. When used in its powered “dynamic mode”, this system further delivers alternating pressure care via the connected foam and air cells. Modes of action of hybrid support surfaces were never studied quantitatively before, excluding through the limited scope of interface pressure mapping. In this work, we developed a novel computational modelling framework and simulations to visualise and quantify the state of soft tissue loading at the buttocks of a supine patient positioned on a hybrid support surface, in both the static and dynamic modes. We found that the dynamic mode effectively shifts deep concentrated soft tissue loading from under the sacral bone (towards the sacral promontory) to the tip of the sacrum (coccyx) and vice versa, and thereby, generates a deep tissue offloading effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3148-3156
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Wound Journal
Volume20
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Keywords

  • alternating pressure therapy
  • computational simulations in wound care
  • computer finite element model
  • medical mattress
  • pressure injury

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