Reducing the incidence of pressure ulcers plays a vital role in improving outcomes for individuals as well as reducing the costs associated with treatment. Figures from 2013 suggest that the prevalence rate of pressure ulcers in healthcare environments (including nursing homes, care homes, independent sector care providers, community nursing and hospitals) was 4.7% (1). Quite apart from the unnecessary suffering caused, the daily costs of treating a pressure ulcer are estimated to range from £43 to £374.
Until now, carers have not had a bedside tool capable of distinguishing accurately between high and low pressures, or assessing the effectiveness of their interventions in terms of moving and turning patients. With the launch of a brand new and ground breaking development now being used in the acute market, healthcare specialists Sidhil have changed all that.
Their innovative Monitor, Alert, Protect (M.A.P™) system is the UK’s first continuous bedside pressure monitoring system, and can be used in conjunction with almost any mattress system to provide 24/7 data on pressure levels developing between the patient and the support surface. The company anticipates having a version for the nursing, residential and community sectors by the start of next year.
How M.A.P™ Works
The system uses a pressure sensing mat to identify high and low pressure areas between the individual and the support surface. The outer layer of this mat consists of a medical grade biocompatible material, which houses thousands of sensing points capable of accurately imaging the body of the person lying on the support surface.
This information is sent to a monitor attached to the mat, where it is displayed as a real time, colour coded high resolution image, with areas of high pressure clearly delineated in red and orange, and lower pressure areas showing as green and blue.
The real time ‘pressure map’ image gives accurate detail on each individual, enabling carers to reposition accordingly, reducing pressure in the identified areas. Experience in the acute market indicates that ‘micro-movements’ can reduce pressures dramatically, which is particularly effective for people where full body repositioning or even turning may be restricted.
The implementation of Sidhil’s M.A.P™ system allows live and individual monitoring and management of pressure distribution. In addition, the pressure sensing mat is flexible, which means it is suitable for use with people of different weights and sizes, even bariatric cases.
Already in use in the acute environment in the UK, Sidhil is expecting to have a M.A.P™ system available for nursing, residential and community applications later this year. The system is available both for sale and for rental from Sidhil, with the purchase price believed to be less than the cost of treating one Grade 1 pressure ulcer.