Karen Lerner, regional VP of pressure prevention at Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare, will give a presentation titled, “Befuddled About Support Surfaces? Become an Expert,” March 8 at 1 pm during the International Seating Symposium being held in Vancouver, BC.

Lerner, RN, MSN, ATP, CWS, will speak on knowing when and how to recommend and evaluate the clinical effectiveness of support surfaces to help ATPs and clinicians prevent and treat pressure ulcers. Pressure ulcers occur when the skin dies due to lack of blood flow. Knowing what equipment to use for each case is crucial to maintaining skin integrity and normal blood flow, according to a company news release.

“Using the right equipment or technology on the right type of patient will affect the right clinical outcome,” Lerner says. “Everyone wins. But a one?size?fits?all approach will surely create losers.”

Support surfaces come in a variety of shapes and sizes specifically made for beds, chairs, wheelchairs and for use while reclining or sitting. According to Lerner, many bed surfaces are designed to not only address pressure redistribution but humidity, temperature, friction, maceration, user comfort and pulmonary function as well. Support surfaces for seats and wheelchairs aid with positioning needs as well as pressure distribution.

In addition, per the release from the Port Washington, NY-based company, some offer pulsation instead of alternating pressure to increase lymphatic drainage and blood flow while decreasing discomfort and pain. Others are equipped with cell in cell technology that prevents bottoming out in case of power failure. Because there are so many support surface options available, it’s important to become familiar with the products to meet the needs of each user or patient.

“Educated and critical thinking is required when selecting the right support surface for pressure redistribution,” she states. “Look for clinical examples and referrals, learn the products and remember that support surfaces help get blood flow to the skin, a critical component of pressure prevention and treatment.”

[Source: Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare]