A Disposable Pad For The Prevention And Treatment Of Decubitus
Socially and medically under the radar, the annual cost of treating decubitus, commonly known as “bedsores” or “pressure sores,” is estimated at eleven billion dollars in the US. Hospital administrators are acutely aware of both the monetary cost and the cost in pain and suffering.
Historically, fleece has been very effective. It is not, however, commensurate with current hospital practices.
Presently, low cost and disposability are essential, in addition to functionality.
The treatment for bedsores is the same as for their prevention, save the addition of anti-septic salves and wound healing protocols/ procedures.
The six criteria, then, are: the circulation of air directly against the skin, the absorption of moisture from perspiration or open lesions, the distribution of pressure over bony projections, and non-allergenic, with the aforementioned low cost and disposability completing the fulfillment.
“Fuller's earth,” a form of the clay bentonite, provides a medium which fulfills these criteria.
An absorbent, pressure-reducing pad has been created using refined bentonite, packed into cells two inches square and three-eighths of an inch thick. The cells are arranged in an 18x24-inch array on a thin sheet of vinyl and affixed with adhesive. An over-layer of porous high wet strength paper with a low coefficient of friction holds the array in place. The low friction allows the patient to move or be moved without rupturing the cells.
A machine to produce limited quantities of the pads is being built at the MMI Scientific facility.
Tests at selected elder care facilities in the San Francisco Bay Area are currently being conducted. Homebound patients may also be furnished with pads for evaluation.
For additional information or to request to be included in the evaluation program, write to: MMI Scientific, Anti-Decubitus Program, PO Box 1788, Richmond, CA 94802-0788, or call 510-932-9386.