A Director of Nursing recently explained to me that her Nursing staff were concerned as to why some patients experienced skin breakdown, even though they had selected an evidenced based, high acuity mattress to prevent and help heal pressure injuries.

We were able to find out why, and to rectify the situation. It turned out that those same patients were spending up to 12 hours a day sitting in sling seat wheelchairs, with very basic and inexpensive thin seat cushions, designed for comfort only and with no adequate back support.

Research shows us that when we sit in a chair that has a sling element to it, like a manual wheelchair, internal rotation of the thighs occurs. This is both painful and can promote shear forces. Poor posture results, and with a sling back that has no lumbar back support, patients hunch forward, transferring their weight onto their ischial tuberosities. Very basic cushions designed for comfort only may not prevent skin breakdown if they do not allow for enough immersion or pressure offloading. The result is compromised skin integrity, and often times actual skin breakdown itself may result. This was the case with this particular facility and their residents.

Posture-Mate has a built-in rigid seat-base that effectively eliminates the sling seat aspect of the chair, and provides deep immersion with ergonomic offloading. The back cushion provides adequate and comfortable support which means the patient can sit comfortably, without the risk of skin breakdown.

When we implemented use of the evidence-based Posture-Mate seating in conjunction with the use of the Immersus mattress, the residents in question received 24hr protection from pressure injuries, whether they were being cared for in the bed or the chair. Further skin breakdown was avoided, and healing of existing pressure injuries was achieved.

So often, we focus on correct mattress selection only as the solution for skin protection and wound healing, and we forget to choose an evidence-based seating solution. As a result, most pressure injuries begin while patients are seated inadequately in the chair. With Posture-Mate models that fit standard wheelchairs, high-back wheelchairs and geri-chairs, it’s easy to make sure that your patients are always protected.

Together, the Immersus mattress and Posture-Mate seating systems ensure complete evidence-based protection from pressure injuries and falls.

This case highlights the need to ensure that the use of evidence-based seating with both seat and back cushions is implemented, whenever a patient also requires a high acuity mattress, like the Immersus.

Please read the multi-patient, published clinical outcome study in Wound Management and Prevention for yourself…. CLINICAL OUTCOME STUDY.  And contact us for more information. With Immersus, Better Outcomes Matter…

James Hadland – Senior Vice President – Immersus Health Company

Call: 855-994-4325

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