Pressure ulcers and hypothermia prevention solutions

The requirements for currently used mattresses (pads) concern four major aspects:

1. Capability to reduce unit pressure – the deeper patient sinks in the mattress, the more is he enveloped, as a result, the patient’s body weight is distributed on a larger area, and the pressure on area unit is lower.

SENSEi_pressure mapping pads

Alvo, in close cooperation with a Canadian company XSENSOR, has developed a smart mattress measuring the pressure that the patient exerts on the operating table. Prolonged pressure is the key risk factor of bedsores development. Regular patient repositioning is a common practice that has been followed for decades to prevent and also treat bedsore lesions. The literature does not provide a straightforward method and frequency of patient repositioning to guarantee the effective prevention of bedsores. This issue is particularly important in surgical procedures in which patients are kept still for up to several hours. Prolonged compression contributes to ischaemia and anoxia of skin tissues – blood vessels are unable to provide oxygen and necessary metabolic components to the cells. Metabolism disturbance cause that its products cannot be exchanged, which leads to accumulation of toxins. Depleted of oxygen and filled with toxins that should be removed, cells die, which leads to the development of decubitus ulcers.

surgical table pads

A modern way to ensure continuous control of the pressure exerted by the patient’s body is the use of SENSEi mattresses that allow controlling the forces generated by the patient in real-time. Visualizations displayed on the screen enable immediate feedback if the risk of bedsores development occurs. This system allows us to store data for further analysis. Graphical representation of pressures generated by the patient’s body allows immediate repositioning to prevent bedsores and control them.

The risk of local stresses is typical for long surgical procedures and elderly or weak patients. They lead to acute compression ulcers, or even to pareses. Ergonomic mattress, adjusting to the shape of the body, effectively prevents injuries. Local compressions are optimally distributed on the patient’s body. Microcirculation, needed by the skin, is continued. The patient feels comfort and surrounding warmth.

2. Capability to ensure proper microenvironment around skin – vapour and air permeability. The membrane covering the entire mattress allows the natural course of the patient’s cutaneous respiration processes, without disturbing thermal processes. A good mattress should protect the patient against undercooling and ensure airflow to prevent bacteria, viral and fungal growth caused by sweat accumulation on the mattress sheathing, which can finally lead to bedsores development.

The proper thermal balance of the body is ensured by the patient heating system compatible with ALVO’s operating tables. The major component of the system is a heating controller that can support two heating mats or blankets at a time. The heating controller maintains the temperature set individually for every mat within the range from 32 to 39 °C. It is also fitted with an overheating protective device and low-temperature alert functionality.

The heating mattress is a unique solution to prevent hypothermia and bedsores. The core of the mattress is an elastic foam with anti-bedsore properties. The mattress is available with multiple-use covers, suitable for machine washing and disinfecting. A single heating controller may adjust the work of the heating mattress, warming up the patient from below and a heating blanket, warming up from above.

This system is very economic – it does not require any single-use components, which makes it a perfect standard solution to be used during the surgical procedures. An additional benefit of the system is that the heating components are made of X-ray translucent carbon fibres.

3. Capability to maintain hygiene – protection against penetration of contaminants into the mattress structure, easy cleaning, and disinfection.

Microporous, hydrophobic filter membrane prevents penetration of fluids into the foam and ensures free airflow.

Considering the possibility of infection at operating theatres, mattress impermeability is crucial, so they should be ultrasonic welded. The use of ultrasonic welded mattresses with three-layer foam ensures 10-minutes’ stability under 11 cm water column, without any consequences. The perfectly tight mattress ensures proper heat and sweat removal.

4. Capability to integrate with the operating table – movement optimization.

snap link

Advanced mattress fixing mechanism using the Snap link system replaces previously used pins and Velcro strips. Although common in use, Velcro fixtures are sources of germs that are very hard to remove due to dirt accumulation. The Velcro structure restricts the possibility of thorough fixture disinfection. The innovative Snap link system allows mattress movement if the angular position of the operating table is changed – the mattress follows the patient’s body, not the table movement. The mattress performs a floating movement, as a result of which the friction between the patient’s body and the mattress is minimized, which in turn reduces the load generated by the weight of the person laying on the table. The Snap link system has some unique features. Aluminium equivalent is 0.81 mm/Al. It has been confirmed by the tests performed with a system using a double layer of 3M adhesive.

The Snap link is made of a flame retardant material with antimicrobial properties, easy to decontaminate, mounting on the table top is easy. Proper locking is audible.