Relying on air sectors and valve release technology, these mattresses provide pressure redistribution by adjusting to resident positioning and pressure, and automatically directing air to different sectors as the resident moves.
These mattresses provide pressure redistribution by loading and unloading through inflation and deflation – alternating pressure – of air sectors. Residents with multiple wounds, full thickness skin loss or even Stage I wounds can benefit from alternating pressure, which is often combined with low air loss.
The air sectors in these mattresses allow air to flow toward the resident to control temperature and moisture. Residents who sweat or have maceration may benefit from low air loss mattresses. Low air loss is often combined with alternating pressure or lateral rotation.
By laterally rotating a resident up to 40 degrees, these mattresses are good for residents with pulmonary or circulatory ailments. Others can be used as an adjunct to turning – each manufacturer may have a different indication for use. Lateral rotation is often combined with low air loss or alternating pressure.
Consider resident safety when selecting an air mattress. While typical air mattresses have many benefits, two inherent disadvantages are the risk of falls and the risk of entrapment, especially when a resident is near the edge of the bed or during power loss.
A side perimeter can address the risk of falls and entrapment. At a minimum, consider mattresses that have some type of firm side perimeter. For greater protection, invest in mattresses with raised perimeters. Air mattresses with foam shell and perimeter construction also minimize the risk of falls and entrapment, as well as minimizing the risk for bottoming-out during power loss.