This study used two full-size pressure-sensitive mats to evaluate five patient support surfaces. The mats, containing 1,536 and 2,340 pressure measurement sites, respectively, made it possible to quantify the entire interface pressure distribution of each support surface. Measurements for groups of 64 and 32 subjects were obtained in supine positions of 0° 30°, at maximal head elevations 15°-60°), and at lateral recumbency. Several statistical descriptors were calculated to characterize the interface pressure distributions. The support surfaces tested included: a powered-air overlay (ACUCAIR Continuous-Air-flow System), a low-airloss bed (FLEXICAIRMC3 Low-Airloss Therapy), a continuous lateral-rotation low-airloss bed (RESTCUE Dynamic Air Therapy®), an air-fluidized bed (CLINITROX II Air-Fluidized Therapy), and an integrated bed (prototype Advance 2000 Bed). An analysis of variance revealed that the interface pressure was significantly lower and weight-bearing area was significantly higher on the five surfaces, when compared to the standard hospital mattress.
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