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Ostomy Wound Manage. 2013 Feb;59(2):44-8.

A prospective, in vivo evaluation of two pressure-redistribution surfaces in healthy volunteers using pressure mapping as a quality control instrument .

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  • 1Akron General Medical Center, Akron, OH 44307, USA.


Deep tissue injury (DTI) can rapidly evolve into a higher stage pressure ulcer. Use of pressure-redistribution surfaces is a widely accepted practice for the prevention of pressure ulcers in acute care patients, particularly in departments where care processes limit mobility. A 15-year-old patient developed a sacral DTI 24 hours after completion of a lengthy (12- hour) electrophysiology (EP) study and catheter ablation. A root cause analysis (RCA) conducted to investigate the origin of the hospital-acquired suspected DTI prompted a small investigation to evaluate the pressure-distribution properties of the EP lab surface and an OR table pad. Five healthy adult employee volunteers were evaluated in the supine position by placing a sensing mat between the volunteer and the test surface. Interface pressures (on a scale of 0 mm Hg to 100 mm Hg) were captured after a "settling in" time of 4 minutes, and the number of sensors registering very high pressures (above 90 mm Hg) across the surface were recorded. On the OR table pad, zero to six sensors registered >90 mm Hg compared to two to 20 sensors on the EP lab surface. These data, combined with the acquired DTI, initiated a change in EP lab surfaces. Although interface pressure measurements only provide information about one potential support surface characteristic, it can be helpful during an RCA. Studies to compare the effect of support surfaces in all hospital units on patient outcomes are needed.

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