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.