Under the SurfaceBy Krouskop, Thomas A., PhD; Davis, Janet, MSN; Rehab Management, Vol. 16, No. 10, pp. 22-25
Publication Date: December 2003
Article discusses the prescription of support surfaces, which can reduce pressure and promote tissue healing in clients who have ulcers and pressure sores. When prescribing the proper support surface, facilities can consult surface algorithms, decision trees, or standard protocols. The AHCPR Clinical Practice Guideline for Treatment of Pressure Ulcers has a decision tree-style algorithm for choosing a support surface, which provides solid evidence for the prescribing professional to draw from. The advantages and disadvantages of different support surfaces are discussed, which include (1) air, (2) liquid, (3) gel, and (5) foam. Advantages of air-filled products are that they are lightweight and easy to clean. Temperature can be controlled at the skin surface, and the multiple compartmental versions allow for positioning. Disadvantages include the fact that they are susceptible to punctures and user instability. Liquid-filled devices are easily cleaned, and they reduce pressure gradients. Disadvantages are that they are subject to puncture, and they are very heavy. Gel-filled devices adjust well to body movement, and they are very easy to clean. Disadvantages include their weight, cost, and need for appropriate storage space. Foam products are relatively low-cost and lightweight. Disadvantages include their lack of durability, and they are difficult to clean. The authors conclude that a comprehensive pressure management program exist only when fundamental aspects of care, along with technological advances are provided.
Published by: Ascend Media LLC (Website:http://www.ascendmedia.com)
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number J46824