14-3 Setting an expiration date for visco-elastic pressure relieving cushions

Setting an expiration date for visco-elastic pressure relieving cushions. A pilot study
Weiss Hani, Barkan Noga, Lotan Meir


Background: Pressure sores are a health and economic burden for individuals with disabilities, who are bed ridden or wheelchair users. Due to the costs of pressure sores management, it is agreed upon that prevention is the best policy. One of the ways to prevent the development of pressure sores is the use of pressure relieving cushions (PRC). Yet, despite the vast usage of these devices, and despite common clinical knowledge about the decline in PRC effectiveness over time, there are no manufacturer instructions for expiration dates regarding this issue.

Goals: To determine whether a computer driven pressure mapping system can be used to determine a decline in the ability of PRC to reduce pressure in older versus newer visco-elastic cushions. 

Methods: The "Xsensor" pressure mapping system was used to identify maximal pressure values of a new "Tempur" visco-elastic compared to PRC which are 2, 3, 5 and 7 years old.

Results: The new cushion was found to show the lowest pressure values, while the highest pressure values were measured in the oldest cushion. A positive significant correlation (r=0.76) was found between pressure values and age of cushion.

Discussion: A decline in the ability of PRC corresponding to the cushions age (with one exception) was found. The findings from the present investigation indicate that an annual pressure mapping test should be carried for each user, starting from two years following the purchase of a PRC. Future studies in this field are necessary to establish expiration dates for all types of cushions.

Key words: pressure relieving cushions, expiration dates.





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