Articles Clinical Blog

How specialist mattresses can prevent pressure ulcers in care environments.

Pressure ulcers are an injury that occurs when the skin over a bony prominence dies because of prolonged pressure. Pressure ulcers don’t only occur in care environments, they can happen anywhere, to anyone.

Over a period of time (different for each individual), the tiny microcirculation vessels collapse under the pressure and the vessels begin to clot (micro thrombi) so that when pressure is removed the blood cannot return to the area in order to recover the health of the tissue. The cells then die and turn black. 

There are lots of factors that may make someone more susceptible to developing a pressure ulcer such as age, mobility, weight and medication.

While it may not be possible to completely eliminate the factors which lead to pressure ulcer development, managing the amount of pressure and shearing as well as monitoring microclimate can really help.

The right support surface can provide the patient with the pressure relief they need to prevent pressure ulcers from forming. When purchasing mattresses ensure they include the following features:

Anti shear

Skin shearing is when downward pressure and friction occurs. To reduce shearing on the skin, look out for mattresses with anti shear properties. The OSKA mattresses use 4 way stretch fabric to reduce friction and mitigate risk of shear. As well as this, shear transfer zones have been sewn into the covers which enables the covers to glide and move with the patient.

Microclimate properties

Heat and moisture build up changes the skins properties making it susceptible for pressure ulcers. Microclimate can be managed with our breathable, vapour permeable covers which helps with airflow and regulating body temperature. The OSKA Series2 and OSKA Series4 mattress has the added benefit of our innovative aerolite foam which enables to air to flow around the patients body preventing heat and moisture build up.


Repositioning is used to offload areas of prolonged pressure but is also another form of microclimate management by encouraging airflow to different areas of skin, enabling perspiration to evaporate and the area to cool. The OSKA Series5 lateral tilt mattress is designed to prevent and treat pressure ulcers by alternating pressure and automatically laterally tilting the patient. This technology along with regular repositioning provides ultimate comfort for the user and reduces staff time.


The OSKA Series2 and OSKA Series4 mattress offers the option for added heel relief. By folding the top layer of foam back under itself at the foot end of the mattress, you can offload the patients heels and provide them with an area of zero pressure. This feature can treat up to category 4 pressure ulcers.


When selecting medical equipment for a patient at risk of developing pressure ulcers, it must meet their individual needs and clinical assessment. It’s also key, to not only provide your patients with the features they need to prevent and treat pressure ulcers but, to also choose products with infection control properties. The OSKA mattresses come with V-GUARD technology which provides an impenetrable barrier to viruses and bacteria. They have welded seams that are ingress proof, minimising any risk of harbouring viruses or bacteria and transmitting infections. They can be easily cleaned and decontaminated, by simply wiping down regularly with today’s cleaning products or with a solution of up to 10,000 ppm of active chlorine. The covers are machine washable to 95 degrees celsius and can be tumble dried. They are also waterproof and have been vigorously tested internally and independently to simulate the demanding conditions experienced in the healthcare sector. 

Take a look at the OSKA mattress range to find products that meet all your pressure care and infection control requirements. 

For more information ask OSKA