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Patient Mattress Minimizes Contact Pressure Damage

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 26 Oct 2014
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Joerns Healthcare\'s Dolpin FIS system on a hospital bed
The Dolpin FIS system on a hospital bed (Photo courtesy of Joerns Healthcare)
A novel patient support system simulates the effects of a body floating in a fluid, redistributing pressure and weight to prevent damage to skin and other tissues.

The Dolphin Fluid Immersion Simulation (FIS) system adjusts to a patient’s change in position, blood flow, or temperature to help release pressure on the skin, without any interaction by caregivers. The process of weight reallocation and pressure redistribution is automated by the mattress, which uses complex algorithms, a microprocessor, and sophisticated dynamic pressure waveform analysis to precisely adjust the density of the surface for the unique anatomical features of the patient.

The system also autocorrects the mattress surface based on weight, 3D surface area, and patient movement, significantly reducing vertical shear which can deform soft tissue and constricts blood flow. The result is that the patient is in a simulated fluid environment and suspended in a near neutrally buoyant state, almost floating on the mattress. Studies suggest that as many as 1 in 12 patients will develop a pressure sore in surgery lasting longer than 3 hours, and nearly a quarter of patients in long term care suffer from pressure ulcers.

Dolphin FIS products are available to fit virtually every bed frame and surface, including standard intensive care (ICU) and surgical beds, stretcher pads, pediatric beds, and wheelchairs. The Dolphin FIS system is a product of Joerns Healthcare (Pershore, United Kingdom), and is recommended for use by patients with spinal cord injury, pressure ulcers, burns, amputations, arthritis, and other situations that require rehabilitation and pain management.

“This exciting breakthrough in wound care was first used by the US Navy in stretchers and pads to transport dolphins long distances without damaging their sensitive skin and internal organs when outside of their natural fluid environment,” said Curtis Jordan, marketing manager of Joerns Healthcare. “This surface is probably the most caring in the world. It provides enhanced comfort and accelerates the recovery period of wounds for high risk patients in intensive care and long-term care.”

The Dolphin FSI system was initially developed for out-of-water transport of dolphins and seals for the US Navy, which has deployed dolphins since the 1960’s due to their superior sonar ability. Since dolphins’ skin and organs are highly sensitive to pressure outside of water, due to the sheer force of gravity from the air on their internal organs and circulation, the navy used pads to simulate a low pressure water environment by making air act as a fluid, consequently avoiding stress to the mammals blood circulation and tissue oxygenation.

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Joerns Healthcare 

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