Pressure mapping is a non-invasive method of measuring the actual pressure between the patient’s body and the surface.
Skin assessments are important for good patient care. But they can only provide a superficial snapshot of what is happening on the surface. Conditions such as excessive moisture and friction can easily be identified but it’d take a crystal ball to see what’s happening below the skin. Right? Maybe not. Behold the magic of pressure mapping!
Pressure mapping is a non-invasive method of measuring the actual pressure between the patient’s body and the surface. A thin sensor-filled mat attached to a monitor conveys interface pressure readings on the problem points. Caregivers can objectively view areas at risk for pressure injuries in real-time so adjustments can be made on the fly. Patients get relief while clinicians provide good care. But it is not just for bed surfaces anymore.
Pressure mapping is critical to ensure cushions are living up to their end of the bargain. Redistributing pressure is paramount in preventing pressure injuries and not all cushions are created equal. This has become particularly important in the age of COVID when reactive air cushions are being used on patients in lifesaving prone positions. Pressure points glowing red require immediate interventions. The proof is on the map!
While pressure mapping is just one piece of a much bigger puzzle, it does separate the clinically effective cushions from the imposters. Good nursing care can never be replaced but pressure mapping is certainly a strong validation tool to have in the repertoire. Find the ideal cushions to reduce the pressure across the bony prominences – in all clinical applications! After all, it’s what’s on the inside that really counts.