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Thread: KLD - low air loss mattress recommendations?

  1. #1

    KLD - low air loss mattress recommendations?

    I was hoping you could recommend some really good low air loss mattresses based on your professional experience. I'm noticing some are also alternating pressure. What are your thoughts on those? I know in the past you have pointed out some which are for sale on eBay, but does that also include warranty?

    Do you know if the VA purchases those for patients and what dictates eligibility for one?

    Thank you very much.

  2. #2
    If you are eligible for VA care, they can either rent or purchase a LAL mattress for you and get it to your home pretty quickly. We do this every day, and it is much easier than getting one through Medicare. Contact your VA provider and ask them to order it. Every VA has different contracts for this type of product. Just be sure it is a full replacement LAL mattress, not an overlay or "alternating pressure pad" that goes over a regular mattress. This is pretty much worthless even for prevention, and definitely not enough for treatment. The local VA is required to also have expert wound care nurses and they can be consulted by your PCP if they are not sure what to order.

    I like the TxCair (Triline) as well as the Invacare 3500S. Of course if you purchase used equipment it is rarely covered by any warranty.


  3. #3
    This is why it was nice when we were able to e-mail our doctors at the VA; I could send pictures of the affected area to my wound care specialist, and she also decides what mattress I need.

    I had the TxCair Triline but now have the Gaymar Symmetric Aire Plus w/ APR6000. Both are low air loss and alternating pressure mattresses.

    Too bad you couldn't post a picture of the mark you're talking about, Doingtime, might be helpful. Do request the mattress, as KLD says.

  4. #4
    Quadvet, how loud are the pumps on the beds you listed? I need a new mattress and I'm trying to do a little research.

  5. #5
    I spoke with the wound care nurse today and she is coming out to my house on Monday. I asked about a low air loss mattress and she says it has to be approved by an equipment board when certain criteria are met. I don't understand the VA sometimes. I would think anyone at high risk for skin breakdown would qualify for one. Sooner or later skin breakdown is going to come up. I would think an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure (or however that goes). They won't even hesitate ordering me an electric hospital bed. All they have to do is submit the consult when I ask for it.

    Not knowing whether or not they would purchase one for me at this point I started looking at what it would cost out of pocket. A person in SCI prosthetics was telling me how important it was to first be seen by the wound therapist so that she could recommend the right mattress. She went on to say you could get one that could actually make your sore worse. My question is if the mattress and patient are doing their jobs properly how can that happen? She was also saying the bed has to be inspected every four months to make sure it's working properly and that service could cost around $250 each time. That seems a bit much. You can't tell me somebody's not making quite a bit of money on that.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by JAYCUE
    Quadvet, how loud are the pumps on the beds you listed? I need a new mattress and I'm trying to do a little research.
    Not loud at all, much less than my air purifier or electric heater. Low air loss doesn't require much air. They use a small piston pump well insulated, nothing like the others that sound like a vacuum cleaner.

  7. #7
    Doingtime, sound like you'll have to wait and be seen, I hope the affected area doesn't worsen in the meantime. Oh, and nobody has ever come to my house to check that the mattresses I've had are working properly. YMMV...

  8. #8
    Unfortunately every VA does this differently. We do NOT require people to wait for Major Medical Equipment to meet about this to give them a rental (the committee meets just once monthly). Long ago we set up a system that allows the PCP to put into a request, which is screened by me or our CWOCN for every outpatient that day, and upon our OK Prosthetics arranges the mattress or bed delivery within 24 hours. I am sorry your VA cannot get it going faster. You may want to write a letter to the CEO and Chief of Prosthetics once you get this resolved, and send a copy to your patient advocate and to your PVA NSO. Pressure from these people can go a long way to making the system meeting the needs of the veteran, not the other way around.

    I hope the wound care nurse is able to evaluate your needs and get you what you need on Monday. Until then, stay off the area and keep inspecting the rest of your skin.


  9. #9
    I should mention that the Triline is preferred over the Gaymar by the guys I know at the VA; the latter seems firmer, but it works for me. (Edited to add: the latter uses a layer of foam over the air bladders that seems to be breaking down because it's hurting more than when it was new)
    Last edited by quadvet; 02-03-2008 at 08:37 AM.

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