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Res Nurs Health. 2013 Oct;36(5):439-52. doi: 10.1002/nur.21557. Epub 2013 Aug 1.

The effectiveness of three types of alternating pressure air mattresses in the prevention of pressure ulcers in Belgian hospitals.

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Nursing Science, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.


To compare the effectiveness of multi-stage and one-stage alternating low-pressure air mattresses (ALPAM) and alternating pressure air mattress (APAM) overlays in preventing pressure ulcers among hospitalized patients, data were pooled (N = 617) from a study of patients allocated to multi-stage ALPAM (n = 252) or one-stage ALPAM (n = 264), and another study of patients allocated to APAM overlay (n = 101). Cumulative pressure ulcer incidence was 4.9% (n = 30) over 14 days. Fewer ulcers developed on multi-stage ALPAM compared with APAM overlay (OR = 0.33; 95% CI [0.11, 0.97]), but no difference was found between one-stage ALPAM and APAM overlay (OR = 0.40; 95% CI [0.14, 1.10]). Time to develop ulcers did not differ by mattress type.


alternating low-pressure air mattress; alternating pressure air mattress; decubitus ulcers; pressure ulcers; prevention; support surfaces

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