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Thread: Is low air loss really any better?

  1. #1

    Is low air loss really any better?

    I have been all over this site reading thread after thread trying to decide whether or not to buy mattress I found on craigslist; it is a hardly used hospital bed and alternating pressure mattress. I am or was on a clinidine before the pump and mattress gave up on me, I have been trying to do everything I can to fix it but nothing has worked so far, we thought it was a fuse and switching that out worked for a while but we had to keep doing it. So I have been on a regular blow up air mattress for a while now which is not very comfortable. But surprisingly it has not given me any pressure problems.
    I do have a stage IV ischum wound that I have had for about three years now, which heals a little bit once in awhile but never fully.

    So my question is; what is the difference between an alternating pressure andlow air loss mattress? And does the latter really make much of a difference?

    And, if it does are there any that are made for higher weight limits? I was excited about the one I found on cl because it is a full size and able to handle more weight, which I need because when the boyfriend is over we pass the 350 pound weight limit most LAL mattress'have. (My current hospital bed frame is a twin) the mattress this guy is selling is this kind:
    http://www.americanbantex.com/pp_legxl.html

    Thanks for any help
    Every second brings a fresh beginning every hour holds a new promise every night dreams can bring hope and every day is what we choose to make it

  2. #2
    I personally don't think much of alternating air overlays. They do not provide a significant pressure reduction, and of course since they are not LAL, they do nothing to help keep the skin dry from sweat or urine (the purpose of the LAL feature). It is very easy to bottom out on an overlay, because they are so thin. They also supposedly work by significantly INCREASING the pressure, then dropping it. While in theory this has some massage effect, there are no studies showing that this is more helpful than using a mattress that has LOW pressures to begin with (such as you can get on a LAL or air fluidized mattress). A good foam pressure reducing mattress is better than an alternating air in my opinion.

    If you have a chronic stage IV pressure ulcer, with probable osteomyelitis, you should be using a LAL mattress. Are you getting consultation with a plastic surgeon about possible surgery and treatment of your osteo?? I assume you are not sitting up at all with a ischial pressure ulcer that severe???

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    If you you sweat a good bit, you probably will not like an alternating pressure mattress. Most are made of plastic like material, I agree with the nurse. If you have a pressure sore, lal is the way to go.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

    See my personal webpage @
    http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

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