Pressure Ulcer Patient Outcomes on a Low Air Loss Bed or EHOB Mattress Overlay

Gladys A. Cobb, RN, MSN, CETN / LTC Linda H. Yoder RN, MBA, PhD, AOCN / Joseph B. Warren RN, BSN, CNRN

The purpose of this research was to evaluate the prevention of pressure ulcers as an outcome among high-risk patients. This study addressed the following research questions:

  1. What is the demographic profile of the patient at high risk for pressure ulcer development in a large military hospital?
  2. Is there a difference in the number of pressure ulcers or the seriousness of pressure ulcers that develop among high-risk patients when KinAir low air-loss specialty beds are used compared to EHOB Waffle air mattress overlays?
  3. Is there a difference in costs related to pressure ulcer development among high-risk patients when placed on Kin Air beds compared to EHOB Waffle air mattress overlays?

Conclusions

Patients on either surface were more likely to develop pressure ulcers if they had hypertension and weighed <160 pounds. For most high-risk patients, a low-tech, less expensive mattress overlay is as effective as a high-tech, high-cost specialty bed. Use of a wound care nurse as a gatekeeper for insuring quality care and efficient use of resources is recommended.

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