During this past year, we’ve all felt the unpleasant feeling of sore bottoms and debilitating back pain! Many of us have spent hours at computers working or spent time watching television shows, movies, or sports when we were not able to go out as much due to lockdowns. Now, consider those who have an injury or a medical condition that has restricted their mobility and activity levels. Consider our experience over the last year, which should help us all realize how important it is to prevent pressure injuries or pressure sores in those who are susceptible.
Pressure relief cushions are a key part of preventing pressure injuries for elderly people. People who spend long periods in the same position – for example, those who suffer from immobility or who use the same wheelchair for much of the day – may be at risk of developing pressure ulcers. Too much pressure on a part of the body can restrict blood flow, causing tissue damage. This may result in skin breakdown or a pressure sore developing. Choosing the right pressure relief cushion can be tricky, but with the right information, it can be easy to find the perfect one for your needs. In this article, we will discuss the different types of pressure relief cushions available and how to choose the best one for your needs. We will also discuss how pressure relief cushions can help prevent pressure injuries and alleviate pain.
What Are Pressure Cushions?
Pressure relief cushions are mobility aids that are intended to reduce the risk of developing sores on the skin by spreading the patient’s weight out over a larger surface area. They’re also frequently made to reduce friction, which can pull and rub against the skin and increase pressure sore risks. They come in a wide array of pressure levels, materials and shapes which all cater to your specific medical needs.
How Do Pressure Sores Happen?
It typically occurs as a result of prolonged pressure on the bony regions of the body, such as the bottom, sacrum (tailbone region), upper back (around shoulder blades), hips, heels, elbows, and back of the head. If the pressure is applied for a long time, it restricts blood flow and causes tissue and skin to die. Bedsores are caused by blood flow to the skin is cut off for more than two to three hours. Bedsores begin as a red, painful region that later becomes purple as the skin dies. The skin can break open and become infected if it is left untreated. There are four stages of pressure sores that can be assessed and determined by your health professional. This assessment can help in deciding which pressure cushion would be best for you.
How are bedsores treated?
- Pressure should be relieved on the afflicted region.
- Using medicated gauze or other specialized dressings to cover the wound.
- Keeping the wound clean.
- Ensuring good nutrition.
- Removing the damaged, infected, or dead tissue (debridement)
- Transplanting healthy skin to the wound area (skin grafts)
- Medicine (such as antibiotics to treat infections)
How do pressure relief cushions prevent pressure injuries and alleviate pain?
Pressure relief cushions help to distribute pressure evenly over a greater area, providing proper support for the person. These pressure reliever cushions also aid in blood circulation and prevent pressure injuries from forming on the skin which can be painful later on if left untreated. With age, our bodies can develop muscle deterioration and joint pain, leading to reduced mobility causing us to stay in one position for a long time. This is why elderly people can greatly benefit from pressure cushions. Pressure relief cushions are the best choice for the prevention of sores, bruises, improper blood circulation, and other painful components that can come along with being unable to move freely. There is no ultimate choice when picking a pressure cushion, they are all tailored to your specific needs. Whichever design is most effective in alleviating the pain and discomfort often associated with spending prolonged periods of time in a fixed position, then that design is for you.
Three Levels of Cushion
Low-risk cushions are made from a soft foam or latex material which allows them to be used for short periods of time.
Medium risk cushions are typically made from memory foam and can be used for longer periods of time.
High-risk cushions are designed to distribute pressure over a greater area and are usually made from a harder foam. They can be used for long periods of time and they tend to be more expensive.
Very High Risk
Very high-risk cushions are made for those who are more susceptible to pressure sores. They tend to be made of a firmer material and provide a lot of padding for the patient.
Things To Consider When Choosing Your Cushion
Cushion Weight: Heavier cushions are more comfortable, but they add weight, which might influence the mobility of a lightweight wheelchair. Think about how you want to use your chair and what would be the most practical for you.
Cushion Height: A taller cushion may make it easier to reach countertops, but it might prevent your chair from fitting beneath a table or desk. Make sure the height is adequate for you to move around in.
Maintenance: Some cushions need to be maintained with each usage (like air cushions that must be checked for leaks), while others are low-maintenance (honeycomb cushions, for example).
Price: Is the cushion within your financial means? Consider how long each kind lasts on average and what it includes to assist you in making an informed selection.
Comfort: Comfort is important. Whether you’ll be sitting on this cushion for a few hours or all day, it must be pleasant.
Stability: When you’re in your chair, a steady cushion helps you balance without moving around and makes it simpler to reach or perform other activities.
Skin Protection: Pressure-relieving cushions that reduce friction and alleviate discomfort can help prevent painful pressure sores.
Microclimate: Skin breakdown is affected by the temperature and dampness of your skin on the seat. A cool seat with lots of airflow is preferable.
At JB Medical, we’ve done extensive research on which materials and shape is best suited for overall relief from pressure sores. Our cushions are great for the prevention of pressure sores, as well as alleviating pain from already existing sores and rulers. The cushion material we use is designed to be of the highest quality and comfort. The material is highly breathable so there is airflow at all times within the cushion, preventing heat build-up & moisture retention while also providing a cooler surface for your skin. The cushion material is of a higher density, allowing the foam to maintain its shape and support without sinking under the pressure of body weight.
Roho Cushion has interconnected air cells that provides an adjustable, low deformation, counter-pressure environment that assist in the healing of ischemic ulcers. Appropriate for high-risk patients. With this cushion, you will no longer have to sacrifice maximum skin/soft tissue protection to get stability, positioning or convenience. Some of the main elements of this cushion that make it a good choice is its ability to be adjustable, lightweight, washable, and well ventilated. Roho cushion is adjustable to any individuals shape and weight. It’s super easy to carry around, and can be washed with soap and water. The cover of this cushion can be machine washed. Best of all, there’s no weight limit.
The waffle cushion is a great first choice for the prevention and treatment of pressure sores. It can have a low profile design that cradles patients in their seats. When a person has an open wound from pressure sores, they can easily become infected which can make things so much more difficult for the patient. This product is great for its antifungal and antibacterial elements, so the chance of any sores becoming infected are lessened with this cushion. The waffle cushion is made to be low-maintenance and easy to clean. It’s also durable, so it can last a long time without any need for replacement.
Do You Beed A Bariatric Cushion?
If you are over 110kg, then a bariatric cushion would be the most ideal for you. Bariatric cushions are designed to be larger and wider to fit your chair and provide the comfort you need. If you have been having a difficult time trying to find a cushion because of this, then the Roho cushion is definitely worth considering.
JB Medical Is At Your Service
Determining which cushion is best for you will take some time, and even some trial and error. Or, if you’ve already been using pressure cushions for a while, but, after reading this article you may have found a different version of cushion that may be better suited to your needs. Speaking with your health professional to determine which one is best catered to you is the best way you can go about the situation. If you are wheelchair-bound, deal with reduced mobility, or are at high risk for pressure ulcers, using a pressure relief cushion should be something that is taken into serious consideration. To reiterate, cushion weight, height, and price are important factors to consider when choosing a pressure relief cushion. Other things you may want to take into account include comfort, stability, skin protection, and microclimate. We hope that this article was helpful and that you’re able to make a more informed decision about which pressure cushion is best suited for you and your needs.