Postural management system for bedbound patients
Bed-time postural management systems may provide pressure relief and reduce the risk of body shape distortion amongst immobile patients as part of a 24-hour postural management plan. Robust evidence investigating their use is not available. This study explored the potential effectiveness of a postural management system considering peak contact pressure and user perceptions. Healthy participants (n=15) were screened using a modified Red Flags Screening tool. Conformat system was used to analyse contact pressure under the shoulder and buttocks and was recorded for ten minutes with/without the postural management system in supine and side lying. Participants were asked questions relating to their comfort/restrictiveness (Numerical Rating Scales). In side lying, peak contact pressure at the greater trochanter was significantly lower with the intervention compared to the control condition. In supine lying, the intervention reported significantly lower peak contact pressures at the shoulder. At the ischial tuberosity peak contact pressure was significantly higher with the intervention compared to the control condition. Perceived comfort did not significantly change between test conditions. Participants reported that they felt significantly more restricted with the intervention. Findings suggest potential benefits of reduced pressure at the shoulders in supine-lying and at the greater trochanter in side lying with a PMS, reducing the risk of pressure injury formation. A postural management system that maintains body shape and reduces risk of pressure injuries could reduce the economic burdens of health implications associated with poor positioning, enhance patient care and reduce risks to carers associated with manual handling techniques used during repositioning.
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