In this day and age one key component to long life andvitality is keeping illness at bay. Reality unfortunately sometimes works against us. In circumstances where you may be required to stay in bed or in a chair longer than you would like the key to protecting yourself is making sure your support surface is working best on your behalf. Avoiding pressure sores commonly called bed sores is crucial.
There are so many options to choose from on the web how do you know what one will fit your needs? There are many options and it is truly based on your condition, weight, and size. We can recommend the Alta Therapeutic Mattress System due to the supreme reviews we have gotten from our customers. It is a mattress that fits a standard medical bed frame, is very durable and can be elevated in head and foot area, and is great in healing and prevention.
Prevention and healing is the key to your medical Vitality and Longevity!!
How To Repair an Alternating Pressure Mattress At Home
If your alternating air mattress system is no longer maintaining air pressure (i.e. sinking, collapsing, bottoming out, no longer functioning), there are a variety of root causes that may be responsible. The below troubleshooting guide should be used to identify or narrow down the potential source of the problem in the system.
Alternating Mattress Systems can be broken down into 2 component systems:
1. Mattress (Air cells, tubing, cover.)
2. Pump (Air compressor unit, power cord.)
It is important to isolate the complaint to either one of these components to facilitate effective complaint device return and replacement. Trying a new or different pump on the system is the quickest way to identify the defective component system.
Should switching the pump resolve the issue, return the original pump for evaluation. If the replacement pump does not correct the issue, continue to follow the troubleshooting steps below to isolate or resolve sources of air loss on the mattress.
Before you Begin
Make sure you Secure the CPR valves at the head of the mattress. If the CPR valve is open or loose the mattress cannot establish air pressure and will not inflate.
Inspect the tubing along the length of the mattress.
Look for any disconnected or loose tubes and secure them back into place.
Check the tubing for any cuts and tears.
Make sure to check the tubing in the mattress tail for tears. The mattress tail runs from the pump to the mattress and is largely covered by a fabric sheath. The sheath may hide tears in the tubing. Slide or roll the sheath down to inspect the entire length of the white tubing.
Make sure that the quick-connect plug is not loose. This can be done by pushing the quick-connect down onto the tubing.
Inspect the quick-connect plug for damage. Both white posts should be at equal heights, as in the above picture. The below picture is damaged.
Check the Red/Yellow valves to see if they are broken or cracked. The pictures below show the proper orientation for each valve – the orientation is important as the Red/Yellow valves are one-way valves (only allow air-flow in one direction, from yellow to red) and improper orientation will prevent air flow to the cells positioned downstream of the valve.
Should the issue be found during the pre-inflation steps, a replacement part(s) will be sent or will need to be purchased, based on the warranty.
Once the connections have been checked, and no source(s) for leaking could be detected, connect the mattress to the pump.
Turn on the pump. Set the weight/comfort setting to 400lb and/or Max and set the pump to Static mode. Allow the mattress 20-30 minutes to inflate.
If the mattress does not inflate, the low pressure light is on, or applying weight to the inflated mattress results in the mattress bottoming out, skip to step 5.
Lower the weight setting to approximately 160lbs and/or about ¼ of the way up the dial and set the pump to Alternating mode. Allow 15 minutes for the mattress to readjust to this setting. Place weight on the mattress.
If the mattress maintains air pressure and the Low Pressure Light stays off, the issue was most likely resolved during the pre-inflation steps. The mattress system is considered operational.
If the mattress does not maintain air pressure, continue to step 5.
#5 Inspect Air Cells For Damage
Small/pinhole/non-obvious leaks can be detected applying soapy water along the seam and tubing of the air cells. A leak will be indicated by seeing a large quantity of bubbles forming rapidly. Leaks can also be detected by applying water to the back of your hand. By running the back of your hand along the tubing and seals, a leak will be indicated by feeling a sudden cold sensation from the air leaking out.
Should an issue be found with one of the air cells, replacement air cell(s) will be sent or will need to be purchased (based on the warranty).
If the mattress continues to not inflate, despite following this troubleshooting guide, the mattress may need to be replaced.
If someone under your care needs bedsore prevention and/or treatment, you may already know that a medical air mattress will help.
However, the endless options can be overwhelming. While finding the “right fit” will take a bit of research, there’s one category of medical air mattress you should cross off your list right away: rentals.
Rented air mattresses may be cost-effective in the short term, but they may also be detrimental to the patient’s health. With medical products, the old saying holds true: “You get what you pay for.”
Rentals are inexpensive, but a medical device is not a pair of bowling shoes. It’s an investment in someone’s well being and comfort. Here’s why you should seriously reconsider renting an air mattress, and instead think about purchasing from a reputable vendor.
1. Lower Quality
A rental mattress is like a rental car: generally a basic model, and one that’s been used over and over by other consumers with no interest in the product’s maintenance. Often times, rental mattresses don’t function properly because its basic wear-and-tear is accelerated by constant use and shipping from one patient to another.
Of course, the rental company is interested in the product’s maintenance, but unfortunately these companies don’t often employ real experts in the proper care and function of medical mattresses. Your mattress could be malfunctioning or damaged, and the rental company may not even realize it — or frankly, care that much.
For rental companies (even the most ethical ones), the priority is turnover. That means getting the mattresses in and out as soon as possible, rather than ensuring that each one is in peak condition.
2. Limited Choices
Rental companies profit by volume. They invest in the quantity of mattresses, rather than quality. This means that most rental companies purchase the cheapest generic mattresses with the most basic functions, instead of ensuring a wide range of options. This means that when you rent, you can’t tailor the mattress to your patient’s specific needs.
Ultimately, effective care means having and making choices. The patient may need certain optional features, like adjustable cycles or digital pumps, that generic mattresses don’t offer. They may require low air loss technology or panel locking features that don’t come standard.
When it comes to medical devices, one size doesn’t fit all.
This is an uncomfortable truth, to put it mildly.
There’s a reason most reputable medical mattress manufacturers don’t accept returns once the mattress has been used, even once. The risk of transmitting diseases via used mattresses is just not worth taking, especially as concerns deadly staph infections.
That’s not to say that it’s likely a rented mattress will transmit a disease to the patient. Most of the time, it won’t. But why risk it? Rented mattresses are exposed to blood, urine, and other body fluids from different people, over and over. While these mattresses aren’t impossible to sanitize, how thorough is the rental company’s process?
When it comes to a vulnerable person’s health — especially if they already suffer from open wounds like bedsores — these are not dice you want to roll.
4. Long Term Care
Rental mattresses are typically not designed for the long haul. Most are rented for short usage in hospice or emergency situations. That means that the construction and design of rental mattresses isn’t exactly above par.
Pumps, for example, are much more durable and designed to run for weeks and months on end, 24/7, without failing. They have built-in backup features in case of power failures, a wider variety of settings and features, and are made from sturdier materials — all to ensure that a patient can comfortably spend month after month in a supportive, healing environment.
In the end, paying more for the right mattress is a better return on investment. In most cases, the cost of a few months’ rental easily adds up to the cost of one good-quality mattress purchase.
5. Lack of Expertise
Typically, rental companies know *just enough* about medical air mattress design and function to fulfill the law and meet insurance regulations. What they often don’t know is how to give incapacitated patients the care they need to heal up and live in comfort.
Patients conditions vary greatly, from multiple sclerosis to fibromyalgia to ALS. They may require treatment for a wide range of symptoms, even beyond bedsores. And just as patient needs vary, a wide range of knowledge is required to help find the right fit.
Wherever you get your medical air mattress, you should get if from knowledgeable, trustworthy professionals who know what they’re talking about. A reputable medical device provider will work with you, and employ their own expertise to help you make the best decision for the person who needs it — and deserves it.
Sheets with an Alternating Pressure or Low Air Mattress? (opinion)
We get asked this question often and we wanted to address it first hand. Can you use sheets on an alternating pressure mattress? This is often debated by wound care nurses and after much research we are sorry to say that there is not a clear answer. We can however educate you on why they may have that opinion. Our experience was some care takers got confused and may not have known the difference between a true low air loss blower and an alternating pressure mattress system.
The true low air loss blower is designed to wick away moisture from the skin. In this instance keeping the skin dry and using the special low sheer cover is critical in the treatment of decubitus ulcers. If a blower based low air mattress is being used to heal a bedsore, the answer would be using a sheet is not necessary. Why? This may add unnecessary layers to the mattress restricting the flow of air to the patient. If however the mattress was being used for prevention and basic healing it may not be as important.
The alternating pressure mattress uses a compressor pump. This system depends less on the low air loss therapy and more on the pressure relief of the mattress. The compressor pumps circulate air (low air output) under the cover to prevent heat buildup. This would place less emphasis on the direct airflow from the mattress and more emphasis on the alternating pressure cycles. The alternating pressure cycles allow for blood flow to reach the skin healing and preventing pressure ulcers. We have seen more home heath and nursing homes using sheets in these situations with an under pad for patients that may be incontinent.
Our research tells us sheets are not necessary with a true low air loss or blower based pump system. When using alternating pressure mattress systems it is up to the care taker or the policy of the care facility.
We have found a few companies that sells sheets and replacement covers for these types mattress systems .
Have you had this happen to you? You purchase an alternating pressure mattress and after a year or possibly two the center of the mattress becomes soft and sinks in the middle? This is not uncommon with an alternating pressure mattress system. Why does this happen?? Alternating pressure mattresses normally use a compressor based pump. This pump is designed to establish air pressure within the mattress then alternate the cells to reduce pressure and stimulate blood flow. The problem is if a seal is not properly established the first section to deflate is the center of the mattress. This happens because the center of the mattress is where the “low air loss cells” circulate air flow. In other words these cells have laser holes in the center. If pressure cannot be established , or if a leak is present it will cause this section to deflate first.
This can most commonly be prevented by using the static feature to enter or exit the bed. or Make sure the CPR values are closed completely.
The easiest way to avoid this problem is to change to a true low air loss mattress. These mattresses use compressor pumps circulating air flow at a rate of 1000-1700 liters of air per minute through the mattress. These mattresses are less likely to bottom-out and offer more features in comfort and advanced healing.
Margaret Schmidt from Houston TX said “changing to a true low air loss mattress helped my husband tremendously. He sleeps better at night, and no longer has to deal with the blow out in the center of his bed.” “He loves the pulsation and alternating features on the Pro Max and we no longer worry about reoccurring bed sores.”
The true low air loss system Ms Schmidt selected was ideal for long term care. Her husband had a stage 3 bed sore that healed and she was using this system because he was spending more time in bed. The pro99 max true low air loss mattress had both pulsation and alternating features for her husband to choose from. The Pulsating air suspension therapy uses small pockets of air, individually inflated and deflated to cause a pulsation. The Pulsation therapy will cause the blower system to reduce the air flow in the mattress system every 30 seconds to 50% of the comfort setting pressure. The internal control sensor continuously monitors interface pressure for optimal redistribution.
We now offer hospital bed packages that include hospital bed, alternating pressure mattress, side rails, and headboards. These ultimate packages are perfect for the family that has a loved one coming home from hospital or nursing care facility with everything needed to make patient comfortable with pressure relief and protected from bed sores.
Each package is broken down by patient necessity to take the guess work out of what package is best for each situation.
The Prime Series is designed if you are recovering from a bedsore, medicare removed your current system, you are developing ulcers or bruising, or are having issues with heat and moisture on your skin.
The Prime Care 42″ with Full Electric Bed Package is the best of the best in hospital beds and true low air loss therapy systems. This mattress system comes with an extra wide mattress, supreme in comfort, heals stages 1-4 bedsores, long-term care solution, If you suffer from reoccurring bedsores, MS, fibromyalgia, burns, cancer, diabetes.
If you are looking for an alternating pressure air mattress for home care to prevent bed sores this is a fantastic value. The Med-Aire Plus 8” Alternating Pressure Mattress is at the top of it’s class for value and efficiency in bedsore prevention. This bed is comprised of 20 individual air cells that alternate on a selected cycle to provide pressure relief and movement. 9 of the cells have laser holes for airflow keep cool an fight against moisture that breaks down the skin. The Med-Aire Plus 8″Alternating Pressure Mattress has an accurate and adjustable pressure monitoring system that includes an advanced pump with a built in microprocessor that monitors and maintains consistent pressure disbursement while stimulating blood flow and circulation.
This alternating pressure mattress remains inflated for up to 24 hours in the event of a power outage. The mattress also has an additional 2” cell that remains inflated along the base of the mattress at all times to offer additional protection while the mattress is in an elevated position. This mattress is approved by Medicare and is guaranteed to heal and protect the patient from existing and future bedsores, pressure wounds, and decubitus ulcers.
If you are needing an alternating pressure mattress for home care after leaving the hospital or are in need of an alternating pressure mattress at home due to being in bed for long hours and do not want to develop a painful bedsore, this is a great solution for you.
We received a letter from a recent customer and wanted to share her story.
My mother recently was in the hospital for surgery and developed a bedsore. She needed pressure relief to heal the sore as well as relieve the pain that it was causing. We ordered your Pro6000 alternating pressure mattress for her bed while she was sleeping which helped her get a good night sleep, however, my mother likes to sit outside in the morning and drink her coffee and likes to sit in her recliner and watch her shows during the day. Your salesperson recommended the Alternating Pressure Cushion so that she can remain mobile and still benefit from healing through pressure relief. The combination of these two therapies has been extremely beneficial to her.
Thank you for the recommendation! It suited her needs perfectly and mom is on the mend!
Alternating Pressure mattress systems are designed to heal and prevent bed sores through the use of alternating pressure with low air loss. The mattress uses 20 air cells (tubes) that inflates and deflates under the patient allowing blood flow to reach the area to heal and prevent bedsores. The low air loss feature circulates air through the cells in the trunk and pelvis area. It is used to prevent and cut down on moisture helping the patient to remain cool and dry. Alternating pressure mattress systems use a low output pump that is whisper quiet. The pump builds pressure into the mattress and then begins to alternate based on a predetermined cycle time. As the mattress builds pressure air circulates out of small laser holes within the center area of the mattress. This helps to keep the patient cool as it prevents heat and moisture buildup. In most cases this therapy does an excellent job for healing and prevention of various stages of bed sores depending on the mattress system selected. Some of the most popular Alternating pressure mattress systems for healing and prevention can be found here.
There are instances when a patient cannot tolerate normal alternating pressure therapy. This can happen to some patients that are subject to stage 4 bed sores, fibromyalgia, MS patients, Cancer, Burn victims, etc. When the patient requires a mattress system that is more sensitive to these conditions a true low air loss mattress system is used. True Low Air Loss Mattress systems use a blower based system that circulates air constantly throughout the entire air mattress. True low air loss therapy wicks away moisture from the skin and often self adjusts to the patient to reduce pressure healing stage 4 bed sores. True low air loss therapy is elite within the support surface category for patients looking to heal bed sores. True Low air loss systems are the most comfortable hospital air mattresses available today. Some true low air loss mattress systems also offer a “pulsation” feature incorporated into the pump. The pulsation creates a hammock effect inflating and deflating the cells to reduce pressure offering additional comfort to the patient as they sleep. When in doubt the true low air loss systems are the most comfortable and best healing systems available in the wound care market.