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Mattresses And Overlays: Critical Factors In Patient Well-Being
The lowly mattress – until your health depends upon it, it does not seem particularly important. However, for many patients, mattresses and overlays are important tools in helping them recover. Underrated and undervalued, these essential components of a hospital are more than bed furnishings. They are an essential component of the healthcare system. They are tools in providing patients more than a comfortable place to rest and sleep.

Basic Types

When it comes to aiding patient recovery, hospitals can elect to use one or more of several different styles of mattresses and overlays. They can select models falling into any of the following categories:

Air Mattresses: The better option for alternating pressure on a patient’s body to reduce bedsores
Foam Mattresses
Gel and Water Bed Mattresses: These are excellent for better weight distribution
Innerspring Mattresses
Overlays

For added features, they can also include pressure pads, pumps and mattress accessories of diverse styles and specific usage.

Purpose of Mattresses and Overlays

Mattresses and overlays of all styles serve more than a singular purpose. They do provide a suitable covering for a bed. However, they are also essential in ensuring the patient’s recovery. Without the use of a proper mattress or overlay, a patient may more quickly develop ulcers (bedsores). These, in turn, can decrease recovery time. For those who are sensitive to such issues, the right specialized mattress will relieve the pressure and lower the risk of such problems developing. Mattresses and overlays can perform this service in one of two ways:

Weight distribution: Foam or gel mattresses and wool, silicone or gel overlays are excellent means of distributing the pressure sufficiently
Alternating pressure: This type of mattress or overlay will apply differential pressure to the body over time, making sure the areas alternate frequently. Air-filled overlays or mattresses fall into this category

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