An air mattress for a hospital bed is not the same as a traditional air mattress you may have in your home. The medical style of air mattress is a system carefully designed to help reduce the risk of pressure ulcers, also known as bed sores, and to help promote circulation for patients who are restricted to bed or who spend long periods of time in bed.
Options to Consider
There are three main types of systems for an air mattress for a hospital bed. All are effective, and choosing the correct one is often a case of discussing the option with the medical team and understanding the goals for the patient’s care.
- Alternating pressure – these mattresses have a system that automatically responds and redistributes the pressure across the surface by constantly alternating the pressure between rows of air cells. This is effective for both treating and preventing pressure ulcers as the pressure between the body and the mattress is constantly changed.
- True low air loss – this system blows air through the mattress to provide full support to the body, eliminating the pressure points on the back, shoulders, backs of the legs, ankles, and buttocks and tailbone. The constant stream of air in the mattress is also cooling and can help keep skin dry, aiding in healing and preventing bed sores.
- Lateral rotation mattress – the air pump raises and lowers both sides of the mattress in alternating cycles. This pattern helps to distribute the pressure and provide a comfortable sleep for the individual. This is considered an ideal choice for the treatment of existing pressure ulcers.
Talk to the medical team to determine the right option in an air mattress for a hospital bed. These mattresses are highly effective in preventing and treating all stages of pressure ulcers.