San Antonio, Texas – Kansas City based Sizewise Worldwide, a global medical equipment manufacturer, today announced at the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing (WOCN 2015) Annual Conference the first alternative mattress of its kind to prevent and treat pressure ulcers, full thickness burns, and aid in the healing of skin grafts and reconstructive flaps.
Evidence-based clinical practice has recently shown that a deep-cell, low-air-loss mattress contributes to improved wound site healing. WOCNs and plastic surgeons have reported evidence of this alternative technology improving the treatment of pressure ulcer flaps and grafts. The efficacy of this new full-body support surface – The Sizewise Immerse™ -- is well documented and will be presented at the 2015 WOCN Annual Conference on June 6.
“Until now, surgeons and WOCNs have been limited to outdated and expensive air-fluidized therapies that pose infection risk, generate excessive heat for the wound’s microclimate and are unwieldy for both patients and care providers,” said Mary Nell Westbrook, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer for Sizewise Worldwide. “The Sizewise Immerse is able to suspend a patient in air therapy at the proper level of immersion, providing an ideal environment not only for patient healing, but also an optimal solution for strained budgets.”
The clinical case study presented at WOCN demonstrates a value-based alternative to the old, large and cumbersome air-fluidized therapies. The NPUAP has guidelines for support surfaces that mandate against small cell alternating pressure air mattresses and overlays, and has encouraged that patients fully Immerse into a mattress for proper healing.
Sioux City, Iowa’s Mercy Hospital hosted a study comparing the effectiveness of the Sizewise Immerse, and found it to perform at and above par to their air fluidized therapy beds. The following outlines the outcomes of the trial:
Historically the use of support surfaces in the treatment of myocutaneous flaps resulting from Stage IV pressure ulcers on the torso had been limited to air fluidized therapy.
Concerns from staff in evaluating alternative surfaces for post myocutaneous patients included staff injuries with patient transfers and patient safety.
Method & Process
During an evaluation of traditional, older Air Fluidized Therapy beds, patients experienced adverse outcomes due to the microclimate of the patient’s skin. Patients had problems with moisture and skin breakdown, as well as not being able to ‘float’ a patient optimally. In an attempt to manage the microclimate environment in these post myocutaneous patients, the hospital trialed the Sizewise Immerse™ mattress with low air loss. Five case studies consisted of post myocutaneous flap patients from stage IV torso ulcers. During the study from September of 2013 to February 2014, all 5 patients were placed on the low air loss Immersion therapy mattress directly after surgery, along with the hospitals total pressure ulcer management plan. As part of the hospital’s clinical pathway for post myocutaneous flap patients, all 5 patients were transferred to a critical access hospital. The low air loss Immersion therapy mattress was transferred with the patient. Upon discharge to home, all flap incisions were approximated and closed.
Healing & Outcomes
The experience with the newer therapy was “quite positive” for patient outcomes, according to the study; and feedback from patients was favorable. As a result of this study, the hospital no longer uses air fluidized therapy for post myocutaneous flaps. The response from the hospital’s multidisciplinary team has been supportive of this change.