Background: Pressure ulcers (PUs) are a burden to patients, carers and health-care providers. Specialist mattresses minimise the intensity and duration of pressure on vulnerable skin sites in at-risk patients.
The objective of the study is to develop a new PU of category ≥ 2 in patients using an alternating pressure mattress (APM) compared with a high-specification foam mattress (HSFM).
Participants in the study were adult inpatients with evidence of acute illness and at a high risk of PU development.
In acutely ill inpatients who are bedfast/chairfast and/or have a category 1 PU and/or localised skin pain, APMs confer a small treatment phase benefit that is diminished over time. Overall, the APM patient compliance, very low PU incidence rate observed and small differences between mattresses indicate the need for improved indicators for targeting of APMs and individualised decision-making. Decisions should take into account skin status, patient preferences (movement ability and rehabilitation needs) and the presence of factors that may be potentially modifiable through APM allocation, including being completely immobile, having nutritional deficits, lacking capacity and/or having altered skin/category 1 PU.