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Support Therapy Primer

Choosing a Medical Air Mattress

Delivery Options
Understanding the difference between medical mattress types and how they work is only part of the answer to getting the correct mattress system for your particular situation. Also consider powered pumps and blowers range in air flow capability. The higher the air flow, the higher the price tag. The higher air flow means maximum functionality. Low performing pumps, 5-10 Liters Per Minute pumps are a good preventive tool for patients with good skin condition and you want to keep it that way. Lower performing pumps in the 5-10 LPM range are not suited to healing existing skin breakdown. Be sure to look at the "LPM" rating for each mattress system.

How an (APM) Alternating Pressure Mattress works:

Alternates inflation and deflation of cells to constantly change pressure points and promote circulation.A single cell slowly deflates, re-inflates, and then the adjacent cell does the same, slowly, up and down the mattress. The head area of the mattress does not alternate so the patient remains undisturbed during sleep. In fact, the patient doesn't really feel the cells alternating at all since the process is slow. The speed at which the alternating process cycles from one end of the mattress to the other end is called cycle time and it can be adjusted or set on most mattress systems. Usually 10 minute cycle time is sufficient.
Alternating Pressure Diagram

How a (LAL) Low Air Loss Mattress works:

Tiny laser made air holes in the mattress top surface continually blow out air causing the patient to float. This is the preferred method of treatment (and prevention) of skin ulcers. It is an excellent way of reducing skin interface pressure at the mattress surface. Moisture is wicked away so the patient stays dry. Moisture leads to skin breakdown.

Clinicians primarily prescribe a Low-Air-Loss Mattress for its unique ability to minimize maceration and heat build-up by removing excess moisture. “True” or “Genuine” low-air-loss is defined by mattress system features such as air flow volume, cover fabric, or air loss method.

Low Air Loss Diagram

How combination Low-Air-Loss with Alternating-Pressure works:

Combination low-air-loss (LAL) and Alternating Pressure Mattress (APM) systems have an alternating pressure base with a low-air-loss top cover. In order for this type of mattress to be capable of supplying true low-air-loss it must use a high powered pump. Higher powered pumps and blowers are required to attain True-Low-Air Loss.
Combination LAL-APM Diagram

See all Group II Therapy Mattress Systems

Solving Skin Problems:
All things considered, the patient is always the most important part of the wound care equation. Patient care can't be compromised, so neither should their mattress system. These Therapy Mattress Systems serve an important purpose, transforming the problems associated with extended lying or sitting into solutions that eliminate compromised blood flow and the resulting effect of tissue breakdown.

Pressure Sore InfoRead more about skin breakdown and pressure ulcers/sores