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    To compare the effectiveness of four positioning aids in able-bodied participants and those with tetraplegia, to determine (1) if devices differed with regard to pressure reduction and (2) if results differed for able-bodied participants versus those with tetraplegia. Forty volunteers (20 able-bodied and 20 with tetraplegia) participated. The variable of interest was reduction in mean pressure in the sacral region, measured in mm Hg. Testing was conducted in a hospital bed using a tissue-interface pressure-mapping system. Four bed positioning devices were examined in use at both 0° and 30° head-of-bed elevations: standard hospital pillows, fluidized positioners, foam wedge positioners, and polystyrene bead wedge positioners. No between-group differences were found for participant type (able-bodied vs tetraplegic). However, the positioning devices tested did differ significantly in pressure reduction. Foam wedge positioners, polystyrene bead wedge positioners, and fluidized positioners all resulted in greater reduction in pressure over an area inclusive of the sacrum, ischia, and buttocks when compared with standard hospital pillows, with foam wedges performing best. Better pressure reduction over the sacrum, buttocks, and ischia can be achieved when using devices specifically designed for patient positioning in bed as opposed to using standard hospital pillows. Data were not significantly different between able-bodied participants and participants with tetraplegia. Thus, pressure-mapping data examining the efficacy of bed-positioning devices using convenience sampling of able-bodied individuals can likely be generalized to apply to a population with tetraplegia as well. Copyright © 2023 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


    Katherine Earnest, Samantha Zoellick. Using Pressure Mapping to Compare Efficacy of Patient Bed Positioning Devices in Participants Who Are Able-Bodied and Those with Tetraplegia. Advances in skin & wound care. 2023 Feb 01;36(2):93-97

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    PMID: 36662042

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