Everyone with a spinal cord injury needs to be careful when in bed. Sadly, many people learn this the hard way, and develop a pressure sore within weeks of their injury while still in the hospital. Many hospitals are ill-equipped to deal with the skin care needs of patients with paralysis, especially those who need help with pressure relief.
Pressure relief is key to preventing pressure sores. While in bed, having a mechanized bed to aid with this can be life changing for quadriplegics. And this is why self-turning beds and inflated beds are the best solution. Gone are the days of foam mattress overlays; hello to a brave new world of bed technology. See our top five picks for the best self-turning and inflated beds for spinal cord injury below.
- Envella Air Fluidized Therapy Bed
Created by Hillrom, the Envella Air Fluidized Therapy Bed is a state-of-the-art bed designed to heal complex wounds. This bed pushes air through millions of tiny beads within the mattress, which creates a fluid-like environment similar to floating on water, which in turn creates an ideal environment for minimizing pressure, shear as well as controlling the skin’s temperature.
Technically called a fluid immersion system, this included several awesome features such as adjustable firmness and the AFT airflow being modifiable. It also has a bed alarm, a head of bed angle indicator alert which is great for medical staff monitoring the patient. And this bed is available for rent, since this bed is typically used on a temporary basis to heal a serious pressure sore.
- Volkner Turning System
For one of the best mattress overlays and matters replacements you can purchase from a manufacturer right here in the US is the Volkner Turning System. Brought here by a German doctor living in San Francisco, this system has been manufactured in the US since 1987. What makes this turning system special is that it was first brought to the market in 1984 at an exhibition in Germany, where it won best invention.
This mattress and mattress overlay are designed to help with pressure sore healing, as a re-positions or turns the person in the bed approximately every 10 minutes. The Volkner Turning System also helps with keeping the blood flow throughout the entire body, which helps with healing pressure wounds. And when it is inflated, it has air chambers that create a channel of air that benefits the spine area. There are several models available and they can all be rented.
- Tradewind Series Mattress System
The Tradewind Series Mattress System is one of the newest generation high performance therapeutic mattress systems to hit the market. They offer a wide array of options for their mattress and mattress overlays. Each product comes with a choice of three dual mode pumps as well, and each pump comes with an alternating pressure mode and a static mode.
The Tradewind Series Mattress System, designed to heal stage I-IV pressure sores, works by utilizing an 8 inch deep low air loss cell mattress, that provides pressure redistribution. The mattress can fit all hospital beds and comes with a remote control so the patient can operate the bed independently.
- Invacare microAIR Alternating Pressure Low Air Loss Mattress System
The Invacare microAIR Alternating Pressure Low Air Loss Mattress System has an advanced 3-in-1 alternating function that inflates and deflates the cells in the bed in a 3:1 cycle, which provides active pressure relief. It also comes with HeelSense technology, that decreases the pressure in the heel area at the bottom of the bed.
The Invacare miroAIR system can hold up to 600 pounds or more, and the mattress and the pump can be purchased separately. If you need to transfer from the bed quickly, this mattress system has what is called Max Inflate Mode, which inflates the bed in seconds. And it has cell-in-cell design, which prevents this bed from bottoming out in case it loses power.
- Freedom Bed
Built in the US and in Canada, the Freedom Bed was designed specifically for people with spinal cord injuries to help with pressure relief while in bed. The Freedom Bed is a computer controlled, self-rotating bed that automatically turns its users to different stable sleeping positions throughout the night. It turns the person laterally and it has an intuitive air-powered head and leg raising system.
What makes the Freedom Bed different then other pressure relief beds is that the Freedom Bed quietly rotates the user from one side to the other, mimicking the natural motion of the body while it sleeps. This movement also helps restore blood flow to the body in all limbs, which helps prevent further skin complications.
Learn more: https://www.pro-bed.com/spinal-cord-injury#
Remember – most of the above beds are covered by Medicaid and Medicare. You’ll want to check with your insurance to make sure, but if you have a spinal cord injury and you are suffering from skin related issues, it shouldn’t be an issue.