A healthcare mattress is an important consideration when furnishing hospital beds and other medical and care settings. You might have heard these called a medical mattress, or a therapeutic surface in some cases, but the gist is the same wherever they are installed and whatever they are named. A medical mattress is designed for those who have reduced mobility, suffer from a chronic illness, or are aging. For any person who spends a long time in bed for whatever reason, through age, injury, or recovery from surgery and illness, the mattress choice can have a big impact on their comfort.
Why are medical mattresses needed?
There are a few good reasons why hospitals require a different type of mattress to one that you would use at home, or a mattress that is used in a hotel. Many medical mattresses are designed in a way that helps those suffering with pain and injury by reducing the pain and pressure they feel. This can be relief from bedsores and ulcers, alongside other conditions that can flare up when spending long periods in bed without much movement. A medical mattress can be used as a preventative measure, or for treatment, and can be made using foam, air, gel, innerspring, or a combination of a few different bed systems.
What are pressure ulcers and bed sores?
The biggest reason medical mattresses are manufactured in the way they are is to help relieve the impact of bed sores and pressure ulcers. These are localised injuries that occur on the skin or underlying tissue and are often seen in patients who spend a lot of time in bed. In parts of the skin that are susceptible to lack of blood flow, any prolonged amount of pressure, friction, and where heat and moisture is found, bedsores may appear. Sometimes, pressure injuries can also occur from the use of medical devices and other objects.
In most cases, pressure sores and bed sores are found in parts of the body that are bony, so the heels of a person, the coccyx, buttocks, ears, elbows. Stage 1 pressure ulcers affect the upper layer of the skin, at stage 2 the surface of the skin will begin to blister and open, at stage 3 the second layer of skin will be broken through and may begin to become infected, whilst at stage 4 of pressure ulcers the impact will be felt in the muscles, ligaments, bones, joint capsules, and tendons.
Medical mattresses can help with both prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers. In a hospital setting, you’ll find that there are both preventative and treatment medical mattresses used, and there will always be a use of overlays, or toppers, which provide a barrier between the patient and the surface of the mattress.
Choosing a supplier of medical mattresses that have a reputation and history to be trusted is the only way to go for any hospital or healthcare setting where there is the need for the provision of mattresses to alleviate pain in patients spending long amounts of time in bed. With the correct choice of healthcare mattress provider, you can ensure that your mattresses are the best quality available, designed to meet the needs of those who need to find the most comfortable spot for long periods spent in bed, whether it is for NHS mattresses, private hospitals, care homes, or other medical settings.