The right bed and mattress can play an active role in bariatric care, providing support for safe, ergonomic bedside routines and a dynamic platform for pressure ulcer prevention and treatment.
Combating the risks associated with immobility is a vital part of bariatric care at the bed. Safe working practices are essential for repositioning, sitting up and turning the patient, as the routinerelated loads are greater. For quality bariatric care procedures, carers need to feel secure that the techniques and equipment they are using are correct for the task/activity being undertaken.
Upright positioning brings a range of health benefits and this needs to be available for bariatric people in bed. With tissue viability often an issue in bariatric care, appropriate handling must be undertaken to avoid damage to the skin. As many patients in this group are highly susceptible to pressure damage, a system for prevention and treatment needs to be considered.
Selecting the bed
Choosing the right bed and mattress combination for the individual patient is the first step to quality care at the bed. An optimum bed should be chosen in accordance with a comprehensive patient assessment and meet individual needs.
The selected bed should promote good ergonomics and comfortable working heights for carers. Some beds feature integrated scales to make weighing routines easier. An electric profiling bed provides adjustability for individualised comfort and a safe transition for the patient to a sitting position in bed.
Choosing the mattress
The correct mattress can play an important, active role in the prevention or treatment of pressure ulcers. Risk assessment is vital in choosing the right mattress, along with consideration of factors such as skin condition and the patient’s prognosis.
An optimum solution for a specific patient can be chosen from a range of pressure redistribution systems offering different modes of action. Available solutions include pressure reduction mattresses that distribute body weight over as great an area as possible. Other mattresses have built-in pressure relieving devices that deflate and inflate supporting cells in an alternating sequence programmed to suit the patient’s needs.