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Thread: Mattress overlay

  1. #1

    Mattress overlay

    I am currently using some sort of air mattress and I was issued by insurance. I am a C5 quad and am getting turned once in the middle of the night. I am having no problem with pressure sores. I feel like I could make it through the night. What type of overlay would be best to help me with this: air, foam, or something else?
    any insight into this would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    We have an overlay that probably is similar to the one insurance "gave" you.
    Dan is on an air mattress, that pumps chambers at different times, keeping the pressure off any one spot. I wouldn't change it for the world. I believe air is the ticket. Air that moves keeps you cool and drier. Any foam mattress will contour, and the raised areas cause pressure. Even the Tempurpedic kind.
    Why fix something that ain't broke?

  3. #3
    Turning is important not only for your skin, but for your joints, lungs and kidneys as well. While many people get away without turning when they are younger, as you age you may find that your skin (and lungs) are not quite as forgiving.

    There are a number of options. This will largely depend upon your insurance or financial resources, as soon of these are quite expensive, and may not be covered by your insurance:

    Overlays: 1" blue eggcrate foam is worthless for reducing pressure. Overlays come in air-filled like the static Gaymar Softcare, or dynamic such as a thin alternating air pressure pad. The latter is not very effective for pressure reduction. More expensive (and more effective) air-filled static overlays include the Roho and several less expensive (and less effective) similar overlays all made by Crown Therapeutics. You can get good foam (GeoMatt, Biogard AFT, for example), but they do not last very long, absorb moisture and urine, and can start to smell. Overlays have the advantage of being fairly portable, which is nice for travel, but they make the bed higher, which can be a problem for transfers for some.

    Replacement pressure reducing mattresses have the advantage of not making the bed higher. They can be made of good quality foam or air, or combinations. This includes those like the MaxiFloat or Span America Pressure Guard Renew. The good quality ones will have a warranty of at least 5 years, and will not take a "set" before that.

    Pressure reducing turning mattresses, such as the Span America Pressure Guard Turn Select or the Triline CairTurn RT reduce pressure (prevention) and provide about 30 degrees of lateral turning on a timer. These can be a good option for some who need turning but have no one to do this, or where family is not able to provide turning at night.

    Low air loss mattresses (MicroAir 3500S, Triline TxCair, etc.) reduce pressure to the point that they can be considered treatment mattresses for those with existing pressure ulcers, or those who have had repeated breakdowns on other surfaces. These are some of the most expensive mattresses (from $6,000 up), and some also come in turning models.


  4. #4
    Brian - Have you ever tried sleeping on your stomach? With the proper padding and support, you could go all night without being turned. In addition, it gives your body a chance to stretch out. We noticed many fewer AM spasms when my son started sleeping on his stomach - and we all were getting a better night's sleep!

    Tough times don't last - tough people do.

  5. #5
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    The Grant Airmass worked well for me. It's an alternating pressure air mattress overlay.


    "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

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