Abstract: Evaluation of a Variable Pressure Foaming (VPF) Mattress with Surface Modification Technology (SMT) for Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers in General Medical-Surgical Patients (43rd Annual Conference (June 4-8, 2011))

5110 Evaluation of a Variable Pressure Foaming (VPF) Mattress with Surface Modification Technology (SMT) for Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers in General Medical-Surgical Patients

Catherine T. Milne, APRN, MSN, BC, CWOCN1, Darlene Saucier, APRN, MSN, FNP-BC, CWCN1 and Glenda Motta, BSN, MPH, ET2, (1)Connecticut Clinical Nursing Associates, LLC, Advanced Practice Nurse, Bristol, CT, (2)GM Associates Inc., President, Loveland, CO
Clinical Problem: Increased tissue interface surface pressures are a well known and greatly studied cause of pressure ulcers. Reports of viscoelastic foam use in specific clinical populations suggest that these surfaces may be more effective than  Group 1 devices.1, 2, 3 Previous  in vivo studies have shown that the Variable Pressure Foaming (VPF™) mattress with Surface Modification Technology (SMT™) offers greater average and maximum weight reductions versus other viscoelastic mattresses4  with a 49.2% reduction in average peak pressure.5  It is unknown if routine use of the VPF/SMT mattress in general Medical-Surgical patients may be more effective than traditional Group 1 support surfaces.

Method: Medical-Surgical patients were randomly placed on a VPF/SMT* surface and prospectively evaluated during hospitalization. Data on diagnosis, sex, age, weight, length of stay, body mass index, Braden scores, PUSH Tool Scores, and skin condition was recorded.  Professional caregivers and patient comments were also noted.

Results: 54 patients used one of six identical mattresses over a 30 day period.  There was zero incidence of pressure ulcers for all patients. Braden Scale ranged from 9-23 with a mean of 17.5 with 75.9% (n=41) deemed at risk with a Braden Scale < 18. Five patients were admitted with existing pressure ulcers: 4 showed improvement; one remained unchanged. All patients reported positive comments regarding comfort. Staff reported greater ease of transfer, turning and improved patient mobilization/mobility as compared to traditional surfaces.

Conclusion:  This VPF/SMT surface was as effective in preventing and managing pressure ulcers as the combination of a foam mattress plus static air overlay in general medical-surgical patients. Significant cost reduction may be achieved by eliminating static air overlays.  Because existing pressure ulcers showed evidence of improvement, the VPF/SMT surface may warrant classification as a Group 2 support surface. Further study is warranted.

*BodyZone™ 500, FXI, Media, Pa.

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