UK pressure ulcer specialist Rober, is delighted to be supporting the European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (EPUAP) Stop Pressure Ulcer Day 2022 today (November 17th 2022) to help bring the knowledge of pressure ulcers to a wider audience. Every year, the EPUAP holds the Stop Pressure Ulcer Day on every 3rd Thursday in November. To mark the occasion, we spoke to Rober CEO, Mike Hutson to find out more about the issue that affects so many people around the world.
Why is reducing pressure sores an important driver for hospitals?
With an aging population, pressure ulcers are a rising problem around the world and, in the UK, alone, they affect over 700,000 people a year, adding an additional £4,000 per ulcer onto each patient’s care bill. Pressure ulcers are also linked to prolonged hospitalisation, pain, social isolation and in worst cases, death, which is why it is so important that patients, especially elderly ones who are bed bound or immobile, are treated on the most appropriate mattress. It is also the reason why the prevention of ulcers is such a key driver for hospitals globally.
How do mattresses contribute to the incidence of pressure sores?
The main causes of press injuries is choosing the wrong type of mattress for the patient’s needs. Although cheaper, less innovative solutions may be attractive for cost reasons in the long term they will no doubt cost the hospital more as there is a false economy in purchasing the incorrect mattress. It is estimated that 80 – 95% of pressure are avoidable so therefore with the right support mattress and educational programs, training and campaigns such as ‘Stop the Pressure’ and worldwide STOP
What are mattress manufacturers doing to address this problem and what are the main solutions available?
It’s important to continually improving clinical data and comply with the requirements such as the Micro Medical Devices Directive (MMD) and the new Medical Device Regulation (MDR). As a UK manufacturer we have been committed to developing a good quality dynamic mattress that offers patients zero pressure to prevent pressure ulcers from occurring. Our technology creates a wave-like ripple effect that is specifically designed to replicate the body’s natural movements, helping to eliminate pressure injuries and provide patient comfort and safety. This wave-like ripple effect provides regular and complete pressure elimination to all parts of the body that come into contact with the mattress, preventing pressure injuries from developing, as well as promoting the healing of established ulcers. Over the last few years, heavy investment in R&D has enabled us to develop a full range of alternating mattress solutions, which cater for a variety of patients’ needs - from everyday nursing environments to acute care facilities. We have solutions that cater for immobile, critically ill and bariatric patients, as well as those that have independent areas, such as the heel - a key risk area for pressure ulcers.
What would your advice be to specifiers looking to buy new mattresses? What should they bear in mind?
It is crucial to look at the proven track record of a mattress to ensure it can and will deliver a patient’s requirements. Quality and reliability of the product is also key, this includes both materials used in the mattress and the manufacturing process. Another key area of consideration is to understand if the mattress manufacturer has the correct Quality Management Systems in place for example ISO 9001 and ISO13485 and are compliant to the MDD or MDR regulations.
We believe ‘zero pressure’ mattresses offer the best solution to hospitals. They are fully automatic and patients nursed upon them require less manual repositioning which helps in nursing environments. The constant movement of the mattress ensures that patients are not affected by prolonged periods of pressure and therefore at risk of developing pressure injuries. Through working closely with clinicians, we have focused our technology on four key areas which are also key considerations when choosing a mattress - microclimate control, patient safety and comfort, maximising infection control and offering additional nursing support. Additional features such as a touch screen display panel, comfort settings, timed static mode, audible and visual alarms, and permanently inflated side formers all provide great benefits to patients and busy nursing staff.
How can hospitals make sure they are able to fund the very-best products? Are manufacturers providing financing options etc?
Access to technology is a key factor. All healthcare establishments, wherever they are in the world, should have access to pressure ulcer technology to prevent their patients from developing pressure ulcers. Hospitals have a variety of options available to them from various manufacturers. This include the outright purchase of a mattress which works well if the hospital as a good bio- engineers department. There are also other options such as rental and leasing agreements and bed management contracts.
To help hospital reduce costs we have developed a ‘cost effective’ range of mattress solutions designed to fulfil the requirements of ‘affordable healthcare’. It offers vulnerable patients complete pressure elimination at regular intervals, thus preventing pressure ulcers from occurring. The pioneering technology also includes therapeutic properties, which help to heal existing injuries. It also supports nursing teams and helps them to better manage their patients, saving valuable time and resources. AirFlex® also uses clinically proven technology, which responds to a patient’s weight, spontaneous movement pattern and body position to provide enhanced comfort.
What pressure mattresses solutions does Rober manufacturer?
Our premium range of alternating pressure devices, NoDec® features advanced solenoid technology to rapidly redirect the changes in airflow required to maximise pressure variation/elimination in dynamic support surfaces. Included in the range is a variety of alternating pressure mattresses and overlays that prevent patients developing pressure injuries, as well as promoting the healing of established pressure ulcers. All our pioneering mattress solutions are fully automatic, and patients nursed upon them require less manual repositioning.
They can include vacuum assisted deflation that maintain volume airflow when re-inflating deflated air-cells despite backpressure from the patient’s body weight. Additional features such as a touch screen visual display panel, comfort settings, timed static mode, audible and visual alarms, permanently inflated side formers, maximum inflation mode, and simplicity of decontamination for effective infection control are benefits to both patients and busy nursing staff.
We also offer AirFlex® which is part of the new innovative ‘cost effective’ range of mattress solutions designed to fulfil the requirements of ‘affordable healthcare. Included in this range is AirFlex® TRIO, AirFlex® DUO and AirFlex® OVERLAY