Alternating Pressure Mattresses

Alternating pressure mattress is a technologically advanced medical mattress that alternates pressure on the body of the patient to prevent skin breakdown and provide protection from bed sores and pressure ulcers. It can be used both at home and in a hospital environment. Alternate air pressure mattress is useful for not only the patient but also the caregiver who does not have to worry about constantly moving the patient in bed. Air alternating pressure mattress system helps provide burn patients, patients suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease, etc., with more comfort and relief than would a standard foam or innerspring mattress.

 Filter
Page 1 of 3 (42 total)

Who is at Risk For Developing Bed Sores or Pressure Ulcers?

Individuals who are confined to the bed for long periods of time with minimum mobility are at high risk for bed sore or pressure ulcers. Bed sores are injuries on the body caused by constant contact with the mattress leading to shearing of the skin in which parts of the skin get stuck to the mattress leaving open sores on bony areas of the body – hips, tailbone, ankles and heels. Bed sores may develop if there is frequent friction of the skin with the mattress or there is poor blood circulation because of kidney disease, diabetes or a heart condition.

Features of Alternating Air Mattresses

Alternating pressure mattress has air bladders positioned laterally or length-wise all along. They deflate and inflate under the body thereby alternating pressure points, promoting blood circulation and relieving painful areas. The mattress is accompanied by a quiet, adjustable air pump which is easy to use and help provide greater circulation. Rows of oblong air cells are inflated and deflated using the pump. The air pressure of the mattress is continuously changed to keep body fluid and blood flowing freely. This method of pressure relief provides respite from pressure to every part of the body at some point. 


Some pressure reducing mattresses have perforated air cells. These provide very low interface pressure allowing the patient to actually hover just above the mattress surface. This offers exceptional pressure relief.

How Alternating Pressure Mattresses Work?

Air cells in the mattress inflate and deflate alternately thereby changing pressure points constantly and promoting circulation. Inflated air cells provide support to the patient while the deflated air cells offer pressure relief to the skin. First one cell will inflate, then deflate and then re-inflate. This same procedure is followed by an adjacent cell and so on. The up-and-down motion is very gradual and the patient does not feel it at all. This movement continues all along the mattress, except for the head area of the patient, in a gradual wave-like motion. The cycle time of the up-down movement can be customized as per the patient’s need. Generally, a cycle time of 10 minutes is set. 


Air alternating pressure mattress systems are available in high-density foam and layered foam at Health Products For You. The Proactive Protekt Aire 1500 alternating pressure mattress pad + pump has a cycle time of 10 minutes and weight capacity of 300 lbs. The interface pressure can be controlled by adjusting the air flow. The Graham-Field Simmons Clinical alternating pressure mattress system has an active sensor technology that employs proprietary auto-adjusting technology for an automatic configuration of air pressure based on patient weight. Combining low-air-loss system with alternating air pressure provides constant flow of cool dry air which speeds up healing of bed sores.