Improvement of the Morphologically Fitted Mattress for Patients with Peripheral Vascular Disease: A Pilot Study

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fumiko Furukawa, PhD, RN
Haruko Shikimori, PhD, PHN, RN
Hiroaki Kanazawa, PhD, MD
School of Nursing, University of Shizuoka, Shizuoka, Japan

Learning Objective 1: recognize the importance of a morphologically fitted mattress specific to patients with PVD.

Learning Objective 2: identify a unique strategy for reducing peak pressure effectively by combining the materials.

(Background and Aim) Many pressure-relieving devices to prevent skin damage are available. However, few devices exist for patients with peripheral vacular disease (PVD), as individuals with PVD have particularly delicate skin of the legs. This pilot study, performed in a laboratory setting, examined improvement of a morphologically fitted mattress for such patients.

(Methods) Eight kinds of materials, 2 to 10 mm in thickness with a double raschel structure having obliquely weaved nylon and polyester units called FUSION (Asahikasei, Japan), were used. Mattresses were made by these materials on top of the other. Such mattress fits a morphological leg shape. A human leg dummy was used to evaluate the peak pressure (PP) of the heel and calf on the mattress. Xsensor mat (XSENSOR, Canada) was used for the PP measurement: The leg dummy was placed on Xsensor spreading over a typical bed with a cotton pad, and the PP was measured at baseline; then next, a testing mattress was inserted between Xsensor and the cotton pad to measure the PP; this procedure was repeated to search mattresses with lower PP.  

(Results) The PP on the heel and calf at baseline was 61.0 mmHg and 83.0 mmHg, respectively. Compared with baseline, three mattresses were considered to be appropriate: PP decreased 29.0% and 48.0% with Type I (combined 3, 2, 10 and 8 mm), 21.0% and 51.0% with Type II (3, 10, and 4), and 33.0% and 52% with Type III (3, 5, and 10), respectively.  

(Conclusions) These findings showed that the PP was lower with the mattresses tested. The morphologically fitted mattress might be effective at reducing the risk of skin damage in patients with PVD. This pilot study may indicate possibility to identify appropriate mattresses by combining the eight materials.