Pressure ulcers arise mainly over bony prominences as a result of lack of effective perfusion to said area. Lack of efficient blood flow can lead to necrosis of the tissue due to deficiency of nutrients and oxygen, thus resulting in a wound. Insufficient perfusion can be caused by risk factors including, but not limited to; peripheral artery disease, neuropathy or simply by the build-up of an external force against the skin (e.g. pressure from the surface of a mattress).
Pressure ulcers cost the healthcare system $9-12 billion each year, resulting from penalty fines, legal costs or otherwise. It’s not only the cost, but also the pain and complications that arise for patients with pressure ulcers that is devastating. It is estimated that over 2.5 million people develop pressure injuries per year, 27 thousand of which turn out to be fatal. With this in mind, pressure ulcers are evidently a colossal threat to the healthcare system and the patient that are easily preventable.
We target pressure ulcers by aiming to prevent them all together. Our product `Setress` is a mattress topper which measures the pressure exerted by the body over time. The device is switched ON when the pressure remains constant over a certain period of time. Consequently, it will start a massaging sequence to redistribute pressure that consists of an alternating ‘up-down’ motion mechanism. This will increase perfusion to the localised area, which decreases the chances of tissue necrosis and thus, the formation of pressure ulcers. The first layer has pressure sensing elements that give values for the pressure exerted on it. The second layer is moisture absorbent, which prevents sweat build up from creating a bacteria-friendly environment. Finally, the third layer is the massaging component of the mattress topper, which includes mechanisms to redistribute pressure throughout the body.
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