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Mattress Choice Research

Discussion about anything and everything related to assistive technology.
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Posts: 1
Joined: 2 years ago

Mattress Choice Research

Post by DavidjUK » 2 years ago

Dear Community,

Prior to posting, I have spoken in advance with Daniel (administrator) to reduce any offence that may possibly occur given its commercial nature and given that I am not personally disabled.

I am responsible for the European arm of the world’s leading manufacturer and supplier of pressure reducing surfaces/mattresses. Our B2B customers across the globe include a large number of the world’s leading brands and although we support companies mainly supplying hospitals, nursing homes and loans stores/insurance businesses, our products are also used in many other categories.

The reason for my post is that we are trying to get accurate feedback from physically disabled people on what type of bed or mattress they currently use and what factors are of most importance to them personally.

If you would be willing to chat further please make contact, or alternatively, if you would be willing to post the type of mattress you currently use and what is important, it would be greatly appreciated.

The main reason for this request is that we have developed a brand new system for the medical sector and now believe that it could be very helpful to physically disabled users, but prior to offering we want to be sure we have the correct feedback from potential users.

Posts: 9
Joined: 3 years ago

Post by Barry » 1 year ago

Mattresses and Pressure Sores

In January 2013 I broke my neck at C4/5 with incomplete nerve damage which has resulted in almost complete paralysis below the shoulders. After a few days in a local hospital I was transferred to a specialist spinal injuries hospital where I was detained for seven months.

In this hospital it was standard practice to turn patients in bed every three or four hours between lying on left and right sides to reduce the chances of pressure sores. For me this practice did avoid fully-developed pressure sores but at some cost and inconvenience which might have been avoidable. Often I had a nagging pain before the appointed time to turn. On ringing for a nurse or carer, she would usually say 'I'll just go and get some help to turn you'. Sometimes they did return.

When there were any signs of sores developing, which for me happened several times, I was forbidden to use my wheelchair and confined to bed. Since returning home, I have an incipient pressure sore only twice - once when a carer replaced my wheelchair cushion the wrong way round and in May 2017 which was solved by replacing my wheelchair cushion. My mattress is still the same one II had when returning home from hospital in August 2013. I am never turned in bed, lying on my back for about 12 hours. My wheelchair is the same one as in hospital, but my mattress isn't - it is a Softform Premier available from Invacare.

About a year after returning home I reported this to the hospital: they didn't want to know. I had a prompt but irrelevant reply to say that the hospital nurses were very vigilant where pressure sores are concerned (and the district nurses at home aren't?) which wilfully avoided the questions raised:

1) were the hospital mattresses needlessly putting some patients to a risk of pressure sores, causing repeated disturbance and pain to patients by repeated turning?

2) Were nurses' time and NHS resources being wasted by repeatedly turning patients who would not need to be turned so frequently with better mattresses?

I have reported the issue of mattresses to several nurses and to patients organisations who have either ignored me or replied in dismissive and patronising terms such as 'I'm glad you have now found a mattress which suits you'. After telling my story to more than a dozen nurses one did suggest that there are benefits of regular position change for chest management, urine drainage and preventing contractures in addition to prevention of sores - which raises further questions as to why all the other nurses failed to point this out and about my current care which does not include turning: but I am not complaining about that.

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