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Relative efficacy of viscoelastic and LAL/AP mattresses

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  • Relative efficacy of viscoelastic and LAL/AP mattresses

    I'm trying to compare the relative effectiveness of LAL/AP (Low Air Loss/Alternating Pressure) mattresses in wound healing. I've searched the forums and find lots of (old) posts with anecdotal discussion of comfort, transfers, & turnability but no reference to the relative effectiveness in wound healing. I'd really like to see some clinically observed evidence, but will also appreciate other paras' & nurses' opinions that address wound healing rather than these other aspects. Any URLs or advice?

    Some background: T10-12 ~50yrs post spinal ependymoma. Many years of successful flaps & self treatment of pressure ulcers. Recently had a Girdlestone resection on the left femur. The result is new pressure ulcers around the left ischial prominence which I'm told are inoperable.

    So I'm on my own, and clearly need a serious mattress. I'm currently using a Span America Protocol. This mattress has longitudinal air cells covered by geomatt-type padding, a proprietary LAL system, and bolsters on the sides to aid in transferring. I have no complaints about the LAL system or bolsters, but the AP has never worked satisfactorily; I think the geomatt damps out the AP effect, I cannot feel the oscillation of the air cells.

    I've noticed in hospital that my wounds healed quickest with AP mattresses using transverse air cells. But before I spend the money on one of those I want to be sure that memory foam won't be just as good.

    I've gotten zero advice from doctors/clinicians regarding mattresses, and DME suppliers promise the Moon. Thanks to all here for any and all help. - fw