The following is a summary of “Using Pressure Mapping to Compare Efficacy of Patient Bed Positioning Devices in Participants Who Are Able-Bodied and Those with Tetraplegia,” published in the February 2023 issue of Critical Care by Earnest, et al.

In order to compare the effectiveness of four positioning aids in both able-bodied and tetraplegic participants, it was necessary to ascertain whether the devices differed in terms of pressure reduction and whether the results varied depending on whether the participants were able-bodied or not.

Twenty healthy subjects and twenty tetraplegic volunteers totaled forty. Reduced mean pressure in the sacral area, expressed in mm Hg, was the relevant variable. A tissue-interface pressure-mapping device was used during testing, which was done in a hospital bed. Standard hospital pillows, fluidized positioners, foam wedge positioners, and polystyrene bead wedge positioners were the four-bed positioning devices that were tested in usage at both 0° and 30° head-of-bed elevations.

For participant type, no between-group differences were discovered (able-bodied vs tetraplegic). The pressure reduction capabilities of the positioning devices under examination varied greatly, nevertheless. When compared to regular hospital pillows, foam wedge positioners, polystyrene bead wedge positioners, and fluidized positioners all led to a higher reduction in pressure across an area including the sacrum, ischia, and buttocks. Foam wedges performed the best.

When compared to utilizing normal hospital pillows, devices created expressly for patient posture in bed can reduce pressure over the sacrum, buttocks, and ischia more effectively. Between people with tetraplegia and participants who were able-bodied, the data did not differ substantially. As a result, pressure-mapping data used to evaluate the effectiveness of bed positioning devices using a convenience sample of healthy persons may probably be extrapolated to include a population with tetraplegia.