Articles Case Studies News

Scottish community raises funds for specialist lateral tilt therapy pressure care mattresses for care home

Rachel Stout, District Nurse, NHS Shetland

Rachel Stout is a District Nurse working for NHS Shetland in Scotland, where she has worked for the last six years and has recently completed her District Nurse Degree. NHS Shetland is an NHS board responsible for providing health and social care to a population of 23,000. The community team Rachel works in is focused on pressure ulcer prevention.

NHS Shetland

Rachel and the team work closely with a local residential care home. A few years ago, the local community raised funds to buy three of the OSKA Series5 lateral tilt mattresses for this care home to ensure residents have an excellent pressure relieving mattress to reduce the risk of pressure ulcer incidence.

A few years ago, the local community raised funds to buy three of the OSKA Series5 lateral tilt mattresses for this care home to ensure residents have an excellent pressure relieving mattress to reduce the risk of pressure ulcer incidence.

Rachel and the team liaise with the care home staff and place the residents on the OSKA Series5 when they recognise this specialist mattress is required. They ensure aSSKINg is addressed and included in the resident’s care plans with the ‘S’ for Surface being an OSKA Series5. This helps to keep pressure ulcer incidence really low.

The residents in the care home are often vulnerable and at risk of developing pressure ulcers due to low body weight, reduced mobility and being at the end of their life. However, with quick interventions from the community team by implementing person-centred care and ensuring residents are placed on an OSKA Series5, they are able to minimise the risk of pressure ulcers.

Pressure ulcers mostly occur over bony prominences with the sacrum and heels being most at risk and most affected. In offloading these areas to prevent tissue hypoxia, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines 2015, recommend patients be repositioned off these bony areas to relieve pressure 2, 4 or 6 hourly depending on the outcome of completed risk assessments.

The community team finds the most significant advantage of the OSKA Series5 mattress is the provision of automatic repositioning, meaning the mattress can be switched from alternating therapy to lateral rotation therapy, which gently tilts the patient from side to side every 10 minutes, 5 minutes on either side to alternate and relieve the pressure on the bony prominences. For patients who are at the end of life, in pain, have reduced mobility, are experiencing emotional distress, or find moving a challenge, this mattress can be an excellent tool to aid the nursing team in repositioning.

Lateral tilt therapy
Alternating therapy

The combination of ‘tilt and turn’ therapy delivers excellent clinical outcomes. This innovative lateral tilt mattress provides an enhanced support surface for comfort and some vascular perfusion. When used in conjunction with physical repositioning and turning of patients, it offers a specialist aid for the prevention and management of pressure damage.

Additionally, the OSKA Series5 mattress cover features an anti-shear system of three horizontal slide sheets attached internally. This protects the patient against shearing and friction when being handled or moved, which is especially important for paralysed patients who may not have feeling or movement in their feet. It also has the added benefit of a heel relief slope to offload heel pressure. Heels are one of the most vulnerable and susceptible areas of the body to shear and pressure damage, which could cause further distress to the patient.

The Series5 also offers an innovative ‘patient safety edge’ far exceeding the industry standard and expectation. Employing the science behind safety, this superior perimeter safety feature significantly reduces risk around patient falls and side rail entrapment. The reinforced wall of foam around the outside the of mattress ensures patients lying down are directed towards the mattress centre, away from the edge and side rail hazards.

Rachel and the team love the OSKA Series5 lateral tilt and work closely with the care home to ensure the residents can use these whenever they are needed. Pressure ulcer prevention needs to be at the forefront of our minds when nursing residents/patients. This nursing team in NHS Shetland is dedicated to pressure ulcer prevention and has an excellent proactive approach to this which is clearly working with their low incidence of pressure ulcers.

Pressure ulcer prevention needs to be at the forefront of our minds when nursing residents/patients. This nursing team in NHS Shetland is dedicated to pressure ulcer prevention

Rachel Stout, District Nurse, NHS Shetland