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Long term use of a powered hybrid mattress for a high risk patient with multiple co-morbidities

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Long term use of a powered hybrid mattress for a high risk patient with multiple co-morbidities

Ann Morris, Sister, Standish Ward, The Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust.


Introduction and Treatment Aims


Powered hybrid mattresses are a combination of both foam and air and can be used as reactive mattresses (without the pump) or as active support surfaces (with the pump). The use of hybrid mattresses is becoming increasingly common in a variety of clinical settings. 


There are a large number of different support surfaces available, which practitioners can often find confusing as to which is the best for their patients.


Greater demands are being placed on practitioners to implement strategies for prevention. 1


To establish the clinical efficacy of this type of mattress, the tissue viability team at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust evaluated a powered hybrid system on a 28 bedded medical ward.


The patient chosen to go on to the mattress was a 35 year old lady who was admitted to hospital being generally unwell. The medical history of this patient included type1 diabetes, chronic renal failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bipolar disorder and Guillain-Barre syndrome.  


A category 2 pressure ulcer was present to the left heel on admission and the Waterlow risk assessment score fluctuated between 14 and 16 (at risk/high risk).  Although the patient was fully mobile, she chose to lie on the bed during the day and did not sit out.  The patient could re-position themselves independently and intermittently used a pillow to elevate and offload pressure from the heel. The patient’s nutritional status was poor, with BMI being below average.


The primary aim of the evaluation was the prevention of further pressure related tissue damage and deterioration of the existing pressure ulcer.  Secondary aims included the patient experience and comfort whilst using the hybrid mattress.

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