Ripple mattress with different specifications may suit different types of patient depending on factors such as patient’s weight, weight distribution, staging of bedsores, mobility and etc.
1. Body weight of the patient
Ripple mattress has a maximum weight of patients that it can support. For example, the bubble type ripple mattress can support patient up to 100 kg while the tube-type ripple mattress can support patient up to 140 kg. Weight indicator reference provided with the ripple mattress is important to facilitate the optimization of the pressure setting in order to provide adequate support based on patient’s weight. Therefore, exceeding the maximum weight capacity of the ripple mattress will reduce the efficacy of the ripple mattress in preventing bedsores. A patient who exceed the weight limit should be moved to an appropriate ripple mattress.
2. Patient’s mobility
For patient who is completely immobile, the use of alternating pressure ripple mattress is important in preventing bedsores. This type of mattress can be inflated and deflated at set times based on the positioning and the patient’s comfort need.
For patients who are being progressive in mobility, extension flaps of the ripple mattress is important to be tucked under the mattress for stabilization and fall prevention. The design of extension flap is crucial to facilitate the patient from getting out of the bed.
3. Severity of the bedsore
Severity and the risk of bedsore should be determined prior to purchasing and use of ripple mattress. The more severe or the higher the risk of bedsore, the higher performance ripple mattress should be used. There are two types of alternating pressure ripple mattress, which are the bubble type mattress with cells in one piece and the separate tube mattress. For example, the bubble type ripple mattress is more suitable for individuals with low risk of bedsores or with stage 1 bedsore. The tube-type ripple mattress is more suitable for more severe bedsores. Another advantage of the tube-type ripple mattress is that the tube can be replaced if punctured or damaged.
Having bedsore is miserable. Sleeping with constant pain at the sore part is even worse. Therefore it is important to have a mattress that can ensure comfort to the user and aid in a good night’s sleep. Alternating pressure ripple mattress may constantly inflate and deflate, mimicking the movement of patient shifting in bed. This will relieve the pressure over the whole body without the assistance of carer. Hence, this can reduce the disturbance throughout the night and increase patient’s overall comfort.
5. Quality assurance of ripple mattress
Lastly, the ripple mattress should be of durable PVC materials and is flame retardant. The materials of the ripple mattress should also undergone biocompatibility test such as cytotoxicity, irritation and skin irritation test. The example of cytotoxicity testing are such as antimony, lead, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, mercury and selenium. All these heavy metals are dangerous to our body when directly exposed to them for a long time. The ripple mattress should also undergo extensive quality testing and assurance by the international reputable boards such as ISO, California Technical Bulletin, SGS and others. One should ensure that the ripple mattress to comply with these quality assurance criteria before purchasing them.
Selecting a ripple mattress involves many factors and often making it a difficult decision. Following the 5 top tips on choosing the right ripple mattress above will help in the decision making.