The right mattress can support your patient’s physical recovery, improve their skin health, prevent pressure injuries, and help them get a better, more restorative sleep. Today we’re going to look at some of the considerations when choosing a medical-grade mattress or recommending one for your patients.
The Braden Scale
The Braden Scale helps predict pressure ulcer risk in adults and children. It assesses your patient according to six factors, including:
- sensory perception
- skin exposure to moisture
- level of activity
- ability to change positions
- nutritional intake
- presence of friction and shearing force
The scale ranges from 6 to 23, and the lower the patients’ score, the higher their risk. Based on this, we often recommend specific EMP Intermediate and Premium Care Mattresses. For example:
- 20-23 (lowest risk): LTC 2500 Basic Comfort Mattress
- 18-23 (low risk): LTC 3500 Active Care Mattress
- 15-18 (medium-low risk): LTC 4000, 7000, or 8000 mattresses
- 13-15 (higher risk): LTC 9000, 9100, and 92000
Of course, other factors come into play, including the location of the injury, but the Braden Scale helps to narrow down your options to get started. Other considerations may include:
- Is the patient at risk of falling out of bed?
- Are they at risk of becoming trapped between mattress and side rails
- Are they at increased risk of pressure injuries?
Medical-grade mattresses come in varying thicknesses, firmness, and configurations depending on the patient’s unique needs. You should also assess:
- Pressure distribution needs (This helps you choose the topper materials)
- Firmness (What firmness does the patient prefer?)
- Transfers (How independent is the patient to get in and out of bed?)
- Heat (Does the patient perspire heavily or have incontinence issues?)
- In-bed mobility (How independent is the patient to move and reposition themselves on the bed)
- Patient weight (This will help determine which mattress is best suited)
If you have any questions about which mattress to choose or recommend for your patients, talk to an Essential Medical Products representative or medical equipment dealer. Tell them your mattress needs, and they’ll recommend one that best suit your needs.