Medline Announces New Product Line to Address Pressure Ulcer Prevention

MUNDELEIN, Ill. -- Medline Industries, Inc. announced today an advanced line of therapeutic pressure redistribution mattresses, operating room table pads and stretcher pads aimed at helping hospitals and long-term care providers prevent avoidable, painful pressure ulcers in their facilities. Designed with state-of-the-art materials, the products provide outstanding pressure redistribution, greatly reduced shearing effects and a cool, comfortable therapeutic surface for patients. They are also part of the product bundle included in Medline's comprehensive Pressure Ulcer Prevention Program to assist in reducing and preventing pressure ulcers, incontinence-associated dermatitis and skin tears.

"It is critical that healthcare providers have a comprehensive pressure ulcer prevention program -- and prevention starts with the surface," said Alecia Cooper, RN, CNOR, vice president of clinical services marketing for Medline. "Patients are often placed on stretchers upon admission and for transport. They can also be on operating room tables for lengthy surgical procedures and for extended recovery periods. Since pressure-related forces can damage tissue in as little as 20 minutes, a key prevention component is a support surface that is effective in redistributing pressure away from areas of peak pressure on the body."

Pressure ulcers -- which are frequently preventable and often occur in patients who are immobile or bedridden -- result from lack of blood flow to certain parts of the body, often the tailbone, hips, elbows or shoulders. This causes the skin tissue to break down, creating an open sore that can become a portal for infection. Treating one of these sores can cost between $38,000 and $55,000. The federal Medicare program recently announced that beginning in October 2008 it will no longer assign a higher diagnosis-related group (DRG) for facility-acquired pressure ulcers, giving hospitals and healthcare facilities even more incentive to implement prevention measures.

About TheraTech Pressure Redistribution Mattresses

Medline has more than 35 years of experience manufacturing healthcare mattresses, and the TheraTech Modular Pressure Redistribution Mattress line represents some of the most exciting technological advancements in therapeutic support surfaces:

-- Independent load-bearing cells - These cells allow the mattress to completely conform to the contours of the body, greatly reducing the physical interaction between the body and surface. Additionally, they act independently from each surrounding cell, virtually eliminating the natural shear forces created by traditional foam surfaces.

-- Built-in air channels - The channels between independent load-bearing cells create horizontal and vertical airflow just beneath the patient to lower surface temperature, reducing heat and moisture build up.

-- Anatomically designed zones - Medline's exclusive zoned sleep surface has different sized cells with varying densities to conform to the specific shape of the patient. These different zones produce incredibly low interface pressures while creating an exceptionally comfortable sleep surface.

About Pressure Redistribution Operating Room Table Pads and Stretcher Pads

Medline's pressure redistribution stretcher pads and operating room table pads can help redistribute pressure that may occur before surgery while lying on stretchers, during surgery while lying on the table and after surgery while being transported to the post-operative unit.

-- Visco & Gel Operating Room Table Pads - Features a viscoelastic memory foam top layer that completely conforms to the body. The middle die-cut layer further helps to redistribute pressure and the firm base layer adds support and stability. The most advanced model contains gel packs that are strategically placed in the high-risk torso and heel sections to further protect these sensitive areas during surgery.

-- Visco & Hi-Res Pressure Redistribution Stretcher Pads - Just like the therapeutic operating room pads, these three layer replacement pads offer an advanced level of pressure redistribution. Two designs offer different levels of pressure redistribution and can be customized in any size or thickness to fit any stretcher or gurney.

Source: Medline Industries, Inc.

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