Therapeutic Mattresses for the Prevention of Pressure Ulcers
Background: On average a hospital incurs $400,000-$700,000 in annual costs related to hospital acquired pressure ulcers. Rental costs associated with the use of specialty beds and mattresses for pressure ulcer (PU) prevention can exceed $1million annually. Little comparative research exists to support benefit of one product over another for PU prevention.
Purpose: This pilot project was conducted to determine how health care providers (HCP) rate the clinical effectiveness of five different therapeutic mattresses for the prevention of PU’s, product preference for PU prevention, if it matters which mattress is used for the prevention of PU and if nursing care is the most important factor in PU prevention.
Methods: This project was a survey, questionnaire design using a sample of convenience consisting of intensive care unit and floor nurses in a large, urban, teaching hospital. Informed consent was obtained from participants that completed a demographic tool and an eight question questionnaire regarding low air loss (LAL), dynamic, alternating, static air (SA), and high density foam (HDF) mattresses.
Results: Fifty five percent of respondents (22/42) rated the LAL mattress as very likely to extremely likely to prevent PU. 83.0% (34/42) of nurses responded that they disagreed that “it doesn’t matter” which mattress is used for HAPU prevention. The majority of the respondents, 79.0% (33/42), agreed that nursing care is the most important factor for preventing PU formation.
Conclusion: This pilot project demonstrates that there is a need to study if a clinical difference exists there is a need to study if a clinical difference exists among therapeutic mattresses and their associated costs.