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Thread: Best ways to prevent skin breakdown in bed?

  1. #1

    Question Best ways to prevent skin breakdown in bed?

    Hi All,

    I'm a wheelchair user and I'm currently sleeping on an alternating air current mattress in a hospital sized bed. The pressure sore I had on my rear end that necessitated the use of the bed was fixed a couple years ago and I'm using Roho wheelchair cushions and taking better care of myself to prevent another one. There's something wrong with the mattress pump too, so I haven't used the alternating air function in 3-4 years. It's basically just a big air mattress at this point.

    The thing is, I really, really want to get rid of this hospital sized bed. It's too large to fit into the bedroom of my 1-bedroom apartment so I have it in my living room. The first thing I see when I come in the door after work is the bed (which seems to mess with my existing depression and zaps my energy), and it dominates my apartment. I have a twin "regular" bed in the bedroom of my apartment. I've spent some nights on a regular mattress when visiting my parents and after a couple days I end up with the beginning of a skin breakdown. So just going back to the regular mattress isn't an option.

    Does anybody have suggestions for good mattress toppers or other products that I can get and put on top of the twin bed to help me prevent skin breakdowns?

  2. #2
    A low air loss (LAL) mattress (not an alternating pressure overlay) is the best, but you need to put that onto a hospital bed frame.

    The Roho Dry Floatation Mattress Overlay is good, and can be used on top of a regular mattress. Be sure to use it with the cover that should be ordered with it (you will need 4 mattress sections and ideally 2 covers). Best to not have a bottom sheet, but if you really need one, get a knit sheet instead of woven.

    https://roho.com/product/products/th...verlay-system/

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    I use an alternating air mattress topper on a queen sized bed with memory foam topper (just a regular bed). Without the air moving, I'd have skin breakdown, though I was able to get away with a static air mattress for ten years.
    Make America Sane Again. lol

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  4. #4
    Senior Member ChesBay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post

    The Roho Dry Floatation Mattress Overlay is good, and can be used on top of a regular mattress. Be sure to use it with the cover that should be ordered with it (you will need 4 mattress sections and ideally 2 covers). Best to not have a bottom sheet, but if you really need one, get a knit sheet instead of woven.

    https://roho.com/product/products/th...verlay-system/

    (KLD)
    I've had excellent results with ROHO overlay that SCI nurse is recommending. Fortunately i have never had bad breakdown but decided to get a few years back as a preventative measure. I watch for them on Ebay and have worked out a couple good deals over the years.

  5. #5
    I sleep on a full-size transfer master bed with a span America pressure guard CFT (continuous flow technology) high-end, but nonpowered mattress. To me the problem with the hospital bed is that it was not too big, but it was too small, not allowing effective turning, much less bed mobility.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the opinions everybody. I know I'll never be able to afford the Roho on my own, I'll have to see how much my insurance will cover and then determine if I can afford the co-pay.

  7. #7
    Senior Member CapnGimp's Avatar
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    I have used memory foam mattresses not overlays for +15 years without a hint of a red area. I am skin and bones. I would not sleep on anything else as I can maneuver on this surface better than anything. I get mine from wal mart, ordered my first one from China over ebay in 2002. Built my own wooden platform and never looked back. Used a clinitron in the hospital when I had a wicked pressure sore many moons ago and couldn't move nor get out of that thing by myself. I use roho cushions exclusively and live in fear of getting a leak but they are all I trust my butt to. I would tear/bust/poke a hole in it if I used it for a bed as I keep books and everything I need in my bed for ease of access when I lay down. I'm a vegan, that was a game changer concerning my skin health, not to mention health in general. THAT is your number one defense. What you put in your body determines what you can expect from it. I avoid 'medicine' also. You can get mattresses from wal mart under 200 bucks occasionally. I use a full size.

  8. #8
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    I'm a 46 year old C7 complete 23 years post injury. I've had three flap surgeries over the past ten years and tried many different sleeping surfaces. Some people have good results with the memory foam mattresses, unfortunately I'm not one of them. If you're just looking for an overlay I'd go with the ROHO Dry Flotation Mattress as recommended above. I use that when I travel and it works wonderfully. I don't know your whole story so don't know if you've considered something like a Dolphin Bed. It is a good alternative for preventative measures.

    I've had recurring sore issues over the years and getting the right sleeping surface has always been an issue for me. I could never get the insurance to cover the level of care that was needed. Eventually I ended up getting a used Clinitron online and use that at home. After three surgeries I have to err on the side of caution. After going through all of my issues and not being able to get the proper equipment when I needed it I am now trying to help others avoid the same scenario. I've started a non-profit charitable organization that acquires used beds and other pressure relieving devises and, with the help of a specialized medical equipment supply company, refurbishes them and donates them out to patients in need who cannot get access to them otherwise. If you think I may be of assistance to you, feel free to contact me. Good luck.

  9. #9
    Senior Member dnvrdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CapnGimp View Post
    I have used memory foam mattresses not overlays for +15 years without a hint of a red area. I am skin and bones. I would not sleep on anything else as I can maneuver on this surface better than anything. I get mine from wal mart, ordered my first one from China over ebay in 2002. Built my own wooden platform and never looked back. Used a clinitron in the hospital when I had a wicked pressure sore many moons ago and couldn't move nor get out of that thing by myself. I use roho cushions exclusively and live in fear of getting a leak but they are all I trust my butt to. I would tear/bust/poke a hole in it if I used it for a bed as I keep books and everything I need in my bed for ease of access when I lay down. I'm a vegan, that was a game changer concerning my skin health, not to mention health in general. THAT is your number one defense. What you put in your body determines what you can expect from it. I avoid 'medicine' also. You can get mattresses from wal mart under 200 bucks occasionally. I use a full size.
    I agree with all of that, CapnGimp. Sounds like my case. I'm a lazy vegan, going back to meat and dairy at times, mostly out of convenience. I have 2 questions:

    1) It seems like sleeping position is critical, not just the surface we sleep on. I use memory foam too, 3.5 inches. I also wear the big blue boots and put my feet on a Roho. I sleep only on my left side, and the key areas are my left hip (doing fine) and two bony spots on my left foot (not so good). What are your risk areas and what is your sleeping position? Do you turn at night? I used to, but my colostomy leaks sooner if I don't sleep (or vote) on the left.

    2) Can you remind me why being a vegan is better for skin health? I avoid 'medicine' too.
    "The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but thought about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is."
    --Eckhart Tolle




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