Top positive review
118 people found this helpful
Fantastic value, good product
on October 28, 2011
Incredibly easy to set up. Everything comes in a single box which isn't heavy at all.
Whatever you do, choose a mattress with "low air loss" -- do not buy a mattress that ONLY offers alternating pressure!
There is good evidence from studies that "low air loss" mattresses help prevent and heal bed sores, but no good evidence for alternating pressure.
This one has both. you can disable the alternating pressure if you like)
The low air loss on this mattress is CONTINUOUS, which is a good thing!
Some other mattresses (such as several from invacare) have low air loss that is only "on demand" -- you have to push a button which then only activates it for perhaps 20 minutes. I believe continuous low air loss is sure to work more effectively.
The noise is perhaps twice as loud as a big aquarium pump. I found I could eliminate much of the noise if I paid careful attention to the hose connector where it plugs into the pump, a slight gap will makes a loud hissing noise. Press it in well, or tie it if you have to, and no problem. There also are some vibrations generated that propagate through the bed frame, but aren't felt by the patient unless they lean on a rail.
If you had absolutely no other noise generating devices you still might be annoyed by it, but I'm managing to sleep fine in the same room.
What is low air loss? There are zillions of tiny holes on the mattress constantly emitting small amounts of air, which prevents and heals bed sores by keeping skin cool and dry.
In order for a low air loss mattress to effectively prevent bed sores, you need to minimize the amount of material between the patient and mattress!
That means ideally a thin cotton sheet only, or even no sheet and only underpad if there is an existing sore. I'm also using a thin disposable bed pad, and looking to buy a variety specially designed to breathe well for this purpose. Update: Am using kendall "maxiflo", specially designed for low air loss matresses -- good results.
In the event of a power outage, the mattress would eventually deflate creating an uncomfortable and unsafe surface, so that's something to think about.
It'd probably be ok for a bit, but I have a foam mattress I can swap in if we get stuck with a long outage. Haven't been through it yet.
Update: I bought a yamaha 2000 backup generator converted to run on propane, enough to keep refrigerator going too.
Other recommendations for bed sore prevention: Baza Perineal Lotion after regular changes (moisture barrier). Sage "prevalon" heel protector (heel & tailbone are 2 most common bed sores)
For bed sore treatment: xenaderm ointment (prescription only). Keep pressure off, regular turns every 2 hours, cool & dry.
Low air loss is no substitute for regular turns but does really help