membraneA recent study has shown that many of the new mattresses that are sold today to healthcare as a standard or a preventive mattress, in fact, gives a high or very high pressure which is not good. This is according to measurements made with the new Swedish pressure measurement standard called SS 876 00 13. Out of 44 measured mattresses of different makes only three mattresses gave the required low or extra low pressure in the area that simulates the heels, while 32 mattresses gave high or even very high pressure.

We see that more and more customers are asking us to demonstrate pressure measurements that are based on the new standard. This is the most objective way to choose the best pressure relieving mattress. It’s scary that it has not previously been observed that so many mattresses sold to Healthcare does not offer low pressure.

When the national studies indicate that they use preventing pressure reducing mattresses, many have no idea what pressure those particular mattresses provide. Perhaps this is the explanation for why we have such a large number of decubitus patients.

Karlskoga Hospital is the hospital that has one of the lowest rates of pressure ulcers in Sweden. They were awarded earlier this year by the Swedish Quality Award as the first hospital in Sweden and received the award from King Carl XVI Gustaf. Very early it was realized that the importance of using pressure measurement standard, to evaluate which pressure reducing mattresses that would be used.

We have one main objective that no pressure ulcers shall occur during hospitalization. In Sweden in the autumn of 2012, Järven our Factory Partner had just 1 % pressure ulcers and this figure is falling compared to the nationally average in Sweden of 15 per cent, says Ing-Marie Larsson, Head of Quality and Development at SKL.

Unfortunately, SKL does not specify what percentage of the total number of pressure sores that occurs during hospitalization developed prior to arrival at the Hospital. The last survey in spring 2013 showed 10% of patients at Karlskoga hospital had bedsores and of these, 9% were hospitalized with pressure sores, which had begun in the home or in special housing in the municipality. Only 1% of patients (1 patient) developed a pressure ulcer during hospitalization. This was, however, not in the results SKL published, which we regard as unfortunate.

What causes ulcers;-
Pressure ulcers can occur for many different reasons, but the most common factor is that the skin in a particular area has been subjected to such a pressure that the blood supply is disturbed. Areas of risk are the skin on the buttocks, legs, heels and lower back, are especially vulnerable. The risk of pressure ulcers is high if a patient becomes immobilized due to a decreased level of consciousness, injury, weakness or pain. Even for people with reduced mobility or walking ability, reduced food or fluid intake, incontinence or listlessness, increases the risk.

It’s not just a matter of cost. Pressure ulcers are one of the most common preventable conditions; these Healthcare injuries are both time and resource intensive to treat.

“The cost of pressure ulcers is one thing, but being able to prevent the suffering of the individual patients is for us at Newstyle Healthcare our most important mission” says Göran Nordin.