Craig Hood is the Founder of Allegro Medical.
Craig worked as a caregiver for adults with developmental disabilities in Tucson, Arizona and later, as a rehabilitation specialist caring for individuals recovering from strokes and traumatic brain injury in Scottsdale, Arizona. After getting his business degree from Arizona State University, Craig worked in the high tech industry for several years before starting Allegro Medical.
Drawing on his experience as a caregiver, Craig realized how important medical products and supplies were in the treatment of post-acute care conditions. At the time, the products to help his patients were not always readily available to professionals and family members. His experience gave him the idea that there should be a better way to shop for medical supplies, and health and wellness products.
In 1997, Craig launched AllegroMedical.com as the nation's first online supplier of medical supplies, incontinence products, wound care supplies, daily living aids, orthopedic products, wheelchairs and so much more. The first AllegroMedical.com website had only 500 products. Today AllegroMedical.com offers over 30,000 items and unique ways of shopping including, shopping by condition and shopping by body part. Allegro Medical is America's first and largest online medical supply superstore.
It seems that little has changed in the treatment of spinal cord injuries over the last decade. Hope of one day regaining the use of paralyzed limbs rests on the future development of medical technology break-throughs, but where are they?
First, let’s understand that a spinal cord injury (SCI) occurs when the pathway between the brain and limbs and muscles is interrupted. Without the ability to transmit signals, messages to the legs fall silent, and muscles wait idly for instructions that never arrive.
Renowned SCI research centers, Louisville’s Kentucky Spinal Cord Research Center and Denver Colorado’s Craig Hospital have been experimenting with a revolutionary approach to treating SCI. Calling it “locomotor training,” injured parts of the body are retrained using electrodes, delivering muscle stimulation while the patient is rigged inside a high-tech exoskeleton that helps structure the patient’s movement.
The thought that a human can walk without the input from the brain seems like science fiction. After all, the brain sends signals through spinal cord, so if the damaged spinal cord cannot relay the signals to the limbs, how can walking occur? In 1911, scientist Graham-Brown theorized that the mammalian spinal cord was capable of generating rhythmic motor patterns independently of the brains input. More recent work done in 2008 by Sten Grillner discovered what he called central pattern generators or (CPGs). CPGs are in essence imbedded circuits in the spine that, when triggered, are able to generate walking patterns without input from the brain. (1) This work has become the foundation behind locomotive training. However, triggering the responses and getting legs to move is just one piece of the puzzle. Walking involves numerous sensory inputs and responses that the uninjured blissfully take for granted. Researchers and practitioners are undaunted by the complexity and challenges.
“There’s new knowledge that can attack the results of paralysis and is also leading us down the path of ultimately reaching that cure,” said Susan Harkema, a Ph.D. researcher at University of Louisville’s Kentucky Spinal Cord Research Center in an interview with the Denver Post last month. The aim of Harkema and other’s using locomotor training is not to provide a cure for SCI but to restore movement in patients who would otherwise remain paralyzed.(1) Denver Colorado, SCI survivor, James Nall’s treatment with locomotor therapy, is being chronicled by the Denver Post. Their series, titled “Stepping Toward Hope” follows Nall through the arduous effort to retrain his body to operate without the typical signals from the brain.(2)
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, is working with Craig Hospital in Denver and others to advance the work and science of locomotor training. According to Craig Hospital Research Director, Susan Howley, the results so far represent a “potentially phenomenal breakthrough.” Howley, like many experts researching SCI, tempers her optimism and says, “The field is enormously rich in possibilities, but sometimes it seems every time we have a new nugget of information, it reveals how much we still don’t know.”
The locomotor training work being done might seem like science fiction. But even science fiction may not convey the complexity and intricacy of the spinal cord and it’s role in the task of walking. Regardless of the challenges, more work needs to be done to understand and heal damage to this most central component of our bodies.
For more than 15 years, AllegroMedical.com has been the leading online provider of medical supplies and equipment to wheelchair users. Rely on Allegro Medical for catheters, wound care supplies, wheelchair accessories, cushions, backs, tires, ramps and more.
(1) Dietz V, Grillner S, Trepp A, Hubli M, Bolliger M: Changes in spinal reflex and locomotor activity after a complete spinal cord injury: a common mechanism? Brain 2009, 132(8):2196-2205.
Over 18 million people in the US have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Affecting over 6% of Americans, diabetes is one of the most prevalent medical conditions the US. Many people don’t even realize that they have diabetes. The initial symptoms are fairly mild, so roughly 30% of the people with diabetes are not even aware of it.(1)
With so many unaware that they have diabetes, what are the early warning signs? Frequent urination, dizziness or fatigue may be early signs of diabetes. Anyone with these symptoms may want see a doctor for additional testing. The sooner that diabetes is diagnosed, the better the outcome, treatment, and management of the condition. If you are fortunate to have caught diabetes early, you can make some lifestyle changes that can help to treat it. Although there is no cure, diabetes can be managed effectively.
One of the best things that you can do to prevent Type 2 diabetes is to start exercising on a regular basis. Exercise will build and strengthen muscles, including the heart.(2) It will lower blood pressure, strengthen the immune and respiratory systems, it will ease stress and fatigue, and will just make you feel much better in general. Remember that the mind and the body are directly connected, so taking care of both is essential. Exercise will also help people with diabetes to improve the way that their body uses blood glucose and insulin.
A poor diet can often contribute to the root cause of diabetes. Reducing the amount of junk food that you eat and making sure to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats on a regular basis will help greatly. Staying hydrated is another essential step that is overlooked far too often. You may also want to consider taking various vitamins and supplements.(3) Before going on a supplement regimen, make sure that you speak to your doctor so that you can be sure that it will be beneficial.
It is important that people with diabetes are vigilant with their dental care procedures. The high levels of sugar in the mouth can make people with diabetes much more susceptible to periodontal disease, as well as other oral issues.(4) Regular brushing and flossing is crucial, as is bi-yearly visits to the dentist for checkups and maintenance. Diabetes is also the leading cause of blindness, so be sure to visit an ophthalmologist at least once a year.(5)
Like many medical conditions, stress may make it worse.(6) Reducing stress will go a long way in helping you to cope mentally and physically. Take time out of your day to just relax or do an activity that you enjoy. Massage therapy is one great way to reduce stress, while also helping to improve overall health.
For more than 15 years, AllegroMedical.com has been the leading online distributor of home health and wellness products. Rely on Allegro Medical for all of your diabetic supplies and other health needs.
There is no way to predict what may happen to a person’s health. Many medical conditions can be debilitating, making it difficult to be able to do everyday tasks that were once simple. Just aging naturally will present many new challenges. It is common for many with medical issues not to realize the number products and solutions that can improve quality life, increase independence and mobility. For example, someone who has arthritis may find it difficult to turn their lamp on or off. However, buying a basic large knob that clamps on the small twisting switch will allow for much easier turning. This is a very simple, inexpensive product, but it can make a world of difference for those who need it.
Getting in and out of bed can be a struggle for those with back problems or for the elderly. Falling out of the bed can also be a serious problem. If a person is immobile, it can be very difficult to recover after falling out of the bed, especially if there is nobody around to assist them. To combat both of these problems, many people will add a handrail to their bed. Again, this is a simple addition that will help to prevent falls and also allow the owner to have something to hold when easing in or out of bed.
One important item that anyone who is prone to falling or who lacks mobility should always have is a medical alert system. These small devices can be worn around the neck, and usually have some sort of button on them that will alert an emergency service if there is any sort of problem. If a person falls down and cannot get back up, or if they are having a medical problem and can’t get to a phone this handy device can save a life.1
There are plenty of other supplemental products that can greatly improve a person’s quality of life. AllegroMedical.com has an extensive inventory of daily living aids at reasonable prices. Allegro’s website is easy to navigate, allowing anyone to comfortably browse and find new products that they may not have known about otherwise. There are also customer reviews and product descriptions that will help the buyer to get a good feel for what they can expect in terms of quality and function.
By providing each and every customer with quality customer service, guaranteed quality products, and low prices that fit into the budget, Allegro Medical has earned their reputation as leaders in online availability of home health and wellness supplies and daily living aids. Rely on AllegroMedical.com for a wide selection of daily living aids and other home health and wellness supplies.
There’s no two ways about it, urinary incontinence is no fun. Thankfully, those who do suffer from this, all-to-common condition can take steps that will help live an independent and active life. Plenty of products and treatments exist in the market today that can help people to discretely manage incontinence.
The first step may be to admit that there is an issue. It can become easy to isolate yourself from your friends, family, and loved ones. Many times, incontinence can be a side-effect of a more serious condition, so it is essential that you take steps to look into a solution.(1) If you are experiencing incontinence, it is important to visit a healthcare professional as soon as possible. It may be embarrassing, but doctors deal with incontinence issues on a daily basis, so there is no reason to feel shame when admitting that you share a condition with millions of other Americans.
There are many causes of incontinence. For some, it is just part of aging. Men may have prostate problems that contribute to incontinence. Women may experience leakage after childbirth. Obesity is one of the most common reasons for incontinence, which can be reduced or even eliminated by simply changing your diet and exercising more frequently. Stress incontinence often happens when a person sneezes, coughs, or laughs, so it may be possible to manage it by first realizing what is causing the accidents. An overactive bladder can cause urge incontinence, which is defined by a sudden urgency to urinate before it happens.(2)
At the doctor’s appointment, you can expect them to ask detailed questions about your lifestyle to try and determine what exactly the root of the incontinence is. It is important that you provide honest information and work with the doctor to figure out the problem. Determining the reason for incontinence can involve some careful detective work, so it is important that you give the physician as much pertinent information as possible. Even seemingly, unrelated medical issues, can actually play a major role.
The doctor may also do blood or urine tests to determine if there is an infection or any sort of abnormality that is causing accidents. Once the cause has been determined, the healthcare provider will usually be able to recommend a proper course of action which may include exercises, supplements, lifestyle changes, and any number of other suggestions that may reduce the frequency of incontinence, and sometimes even stop it altogether.
If you are still experiencing incontinence after medical treatment, you will want to purchase products like adult diapers, bed pads, and other items that will help to keep accidents discreet and manageable.
For more than 15 years, AllegroMedical.com has been the leading online distributor of home health and wellness products. Rely on Allegro Medical for all of your incontinence and other health supplies.
Urinary catheters are divided into three main types: External, Intermittent, and Indwelling. Depending on the patient, and application, picking the best catheter requires an understanding of the variations and benefits provided by each.
External catheters are designed for men, and often are also called condom catheters, Texas catheters. External catheters are made from silicone, consist of an outer sheath that covers the penis, and has an opening at the tip to allow urine to flow into a collection device.
Rochester Medical is a manufacturer that has been producing external catheters for over 30 years and has pioneered an adhesion process that keeps the catheter in place for long periods of time. They are known for the development of the WideBand brand of condom catheters that utilize an adhesive inside the entire sheath wall of the catheter. This process ensures that urine does not migrate from the tip compromising the adhesive and requiring catheter replacement.
Ambulatory patients can use external catheters, along with a leg bag collection device, as an alternative to wearing an adult brief. Male quadriplegics may also use external catheters as they may not have the dexterity to self catheterize using an intermittent catheter. The external catheter may be left in place all day and accommodate active lifestyles.
Intermittent catheters are inserted into the urethrae to immediately drain urine from the bladder and are designed for one time use. Both men and women use the intermittent catheter which are typically the best choice for an active wheelchair user or someone with a postoperative bladder or prostrate challenge.
Intermittent Catheter Tip Types
Different tips and connection ends are available on intermittent catheters. Tips are either straight or curved (also called a Coudé-tipped). Depending on the patient’s condition, insertion may be easier with a curved tip over a straight tip1. The Olive Tip is another variation of the curved tip catheter designed to facilitate easier insertion for female catheter users.
Intermittent Catheter Material
Intermittent catheters are packaged individually in a sterile container. Most are made from Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC and coated with a hydrophilic material to ease insertion. The application of a hydrophilic polymer, mainly polyvinyl-pyrrolidone (PVP) to the exterior of the catheter creates a super slick surface when mixed with water. This makes insertion and extraction easy and lessons the risk of UTIs and urethral complications2. The alternative to hydrophilic coated catheters is the use of a sterile lubricant gel like Surgilube.
Closed / Sterile Systems
A closed system intermittent catheter combines an intermittent catheter in a self-contained drainage bag. The catheter is typically hydrophilic coated or pre-lubricated and also features an introducer tip – a plastic tip that shields the catheter from bacteria as it’s passed through the distil urethrae. The distal urethra is the first few centimeters of the urethrae and considered a location where harmful bacteria reside which may result in UTIs3 during catheterization. The outer bag of the closed system also provides a way to hold the catheter without risking contamination by touching it directly during the insertion process.
Indwelling catheters are also called Foley catheters or balloon catheters. Foley catheters are designed to be inserted into the bladder by a health care professional and remain in place for longer periods. The Foley catheter has a connection end that can be attached to a drain bag, leg bag, or collection bag and a small balloon at the insertion end. The balloon is inflated after the Foley is inserted into the bladder allowing it to remain in place. To remove the Foley catheter, the balloon is deflated and the catheter can be extracted. Foley catheters are typically made from rubber or silicone material.
Foley catheters are most often used in a medical setting, for patients undergoing surgical procedures, or those who are bedbound for long periods of time.
Understanding the three types of urological catheters will ensure the best patient application. From external, intermittent, or Foley, choosing the right catheter may reduce the risk of UTIs, enhance patient mobility and create greater independence.
For more than 15 years, AllegroMedical.com has been the leading online distributor of home health and wellness products. Rely on Allegro Medical for all of your catheter and home health care supply nees.
1) Review of Intermittent Catheterization and Current Best Practices, Diane K. Newman, MSN, ANP-BC, CRNP, FAAN, BCIA-PMDB, Margaret M. Willson, MSN, RN CWOCN, http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/745908_8
2) Clean Intermittent Catheterization in Spinal Cord Injury Patients: Long-Term Follow-up of a Hydrophilic Low Friction Technique, Waller, Jonsson, Norlen, Sullivan, Journal of Urology, February 1995
3) The ‘no-touch’ method of intermittent urinary catheter insertion: can it reduce the risk of bacteria entering the bladder? Hudson E, Murahata RI. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15852058
I am a 52 years “young” woman who has rheumatoid arthritis(RA) and neurofibromatosis(NF). I am someone most would call very physically disabled because I need help with doing many things. My health problems started when I was 24 and needed surgery to remove a benign tumor (NF) from the base of my spine. Within a few months after the surgery my life of chronic pain began. It wasn’t long before I had to stop working and start seeing many different doctors in order to figure-out the right type of pain management for me. That took another 2-3 years total, during which time I had a brain aneurysm. Fortunately the outcome of that surgery was all positive; I had no complications what-so-ever.
By age 35 I was having problems with swelling, pain and stiffness primarily in my hands and feet. My family doctor referred me to a rheumatologist but it took almost 2 years for me to be diagnosed conclusively with RA. By then my hands had already started to change due to joint damage. Also, for some reason the doctors couldn’t explain, my body did not respond well to medications traditionally used to treat RA pain or those used to help fight the progression of damage to the joints. So my RA advanced rather quickly resulting in joint replacement surgeries in both hands and my cervical spine.
Now that I’ve given some of the highlights of my complicated health history I’ll try to summarize what I’ve learned along the way. First, disease does not discriminate. It doesn’t care about the age, color, education, faith or income of it’s victims. That being said, for all those so fortunate to be in good health, please consider giving some of your time to help someone who is sick or disabled. I understand that it’s not so easy these days because most people lead such busy lives it seems. But I’m a believer of when you bless others (especially with your time), and do so with sincerity, that blessing comes back to you.
For those who are sick or disabled and fortunate enough to have people in your life that truly do care about you and care for you, show appreciation to them instead of taking it for granted, being stubborn, prideful or simply not trying to get along. It’s hard to be around people who constantly act that way and I don’t believe anyone truly wants to be alone all of the time.
I must admit that it took awhile for me to adjust to all of the changes life had for me. I’ve been through all of the different emotions you can imagine. Today, thanks to a loving and patient support system of family and friends- especially my husband, I’m not only still here but enjoy my life and am very thankful for it. There was a time when I honestly couldn’t say that but as my faith grew so did my understanding and perspective.
Huge life lesson . . . as bad as you may think your situation is there are others out there who have it so much worse. So instead of continuing to think about what you don’t have or can’t do concentrate on what you do have and be thankful. It can change your life!
Share your story with the Allegro community, just email it to me at email@example.com
It takes a lot to run a successful home care business in today’s environment of shrinking reimbursements, rising product costs and increased competition. You have to be an expert at patient care, finances, leadership, sales and marketing and much more just to keep pace. So much of any type of marketing nowadays, involves understanding online search and social media, which includes familiar names like Google, Yelp and Facebook. Many businesses make common mistakes when it comes to online marketing. Here are 5 simple tips to help grow your home care business online.
1) Put your phone number in a prominent place on your website – starting with your home page
Digital media specialists vSplash estimate that nearly half of small to medium size business websites fail to display their phone number on their website home page. Customers seeking information about your business may want to simply pick up the phone after finding your website and learn more about you, schedule an appointment or just see if someone picks up the phone. Along the same line, display an email address or “contact us” form. Also found by vSplash, 9 out of 10 websites failed to display an email address or contact form. While some customers may wish to reach out to your business over the phone, others will prefer a digital mode and would rather type out an email.
2) Increase your Google Page Rank to Show Up in Search Results
26% of local businesses do not show up in Google search results because their sites do not have a Google page rank. This means that Google is unaware that your website exists. Page rank is a ranking system developed by Google founders Larry Page and Sergi Brinn. To increase your page rank, you need to convince other websites to link to your website. When another site links to your site, it passes some of its page rank to your website. The more popular the site linking to your website, the more page rank passed to your site. The first step in showing up in Google is getting other sites to link back to your site. Look for local resource websites for senior care; email them with your business information and ask them to link to your website. Or, host an event at your facility or someplace locally and submit a press release to the local news stations. Include a link to your website where you provide more information about the event. They will likely publish the information on their websites, linking back to your site to provide their audience more information. Voilà – you have just created back links to your site.
3) Stake your claim on Yelp.com
Yelp.com is an online resource that features business information and reviews and is used by millions each month. It’s likely that you already have a business listing on Yelp.com but in order to take advantage of their site you must “claim” your business. After some validation, you will be able to add additional information about your business making it more likely to show up in local search results on Google. According to Yelp, a business that claims it’s listing averages more than $8,000 in revenue per year over non-claimed businesses.
Create a Facebook page for your home care business. With over 1 billion users, it’s highly likely that your potential customers use Facebook and may make their decision whether or not to use your services based on what they see on your Facebook page. Take the time to create a Facebook page for your business; add an “about us” page, your logo, contact information, a link to your website and a profile pic to represent your business. Once created, post something daily to keep your audience engaged
5) Blog, blog, blog
Create a blog for your business; share your experience and knowledge. Blogs are easy to create and make a great way to publish relevant and interesting information to engage your potential customers. Post informative, helpful information on a regular basis. Be creative and think of topics your audience would want to read. Think about family members considering options for home care vs. skilled nursing; or, senior care homes vs. home care. There are benefits to almost any scenario. Write in an objective way that supports your view. Here’s your first writing assignment: “3 Mistakes People Make Selecting a Homecare Company”.
While the battle ground may be smaller, the war rages on at a local level, to capture the interest and attention of potential home care customers. Armed with knowledge and the right tools, your business can rise above all others and thrive in even the most competitive markets. Allegro Medical has been selling medical supplies and home health care products online since 1997. Although much has changed since then, many online marketing fundamentals have remained the same. Start with these 5 tips and you are building a solid base that will act as the foundation for more advanced online marketing techniques.
“More than One-Quarter of SMB Websites Cannot Be Found in Online Searches” vSplash’s SMB DigitalScape.
The Drive Winnie Wagon is capable of toting 10 times as many hot dogs and fireworks for Independence Day rabble-rousers as large-pocket cargo pants.
Americans turn out in droves to consume close to 1 billion pounds of hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, steak and more over the 4th of July holiday. While busy charring to perfection such culinary delights, another 25 million pounds of fireworks will be purchased and detonated by professionals as well as finger-risking DIYers.
“All this carting and toting puts a tremendous burden on the average rabble-rouser”, says Craig Hood, Founder of AllegroMedical.com. According to Hood, the average person can carry 10 times as many hot dogs and fireworks using a folding shopping cart as opposed to just using your hands or large-pocket cargo pants.
For a limited time, AllegroMedical.com is offering the Drive Winnie Wagon, an outstanding folding shopping cart, well suited for carrying anything from fireworks and hot dogs to laundry and aluminum cans, for $29.99, a discount of $30 off the suggested list price. This special price ends Monday, July 7th.
For more information on the Drive Winnie Wagon Folding Shopping Cart visit: AllegroMedical.com.
Established in 1996, AllegroMedical.com was the first online medical supply superstore. Today, Allegro Medical offers discount prices on over 30,000 medical supplies, home healthcare products, incontinence products, wound care supplies, diabetic supplies and much more.
Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and National Hot Dog & Sausage Council
Although diabetes has not yet been cured, there are products that make it possible to test blood glucose levels, and then administer insulin to achieve insulin balance. With the aid of a glucose meter and testing strips, a person with diabetes can accurately determine the best course of action. Although glucose meters tend to not have to be replaced very often, testing strips must be replenished often.
Although one individual testing strip may be very cheap, it is important to keep in mind the bigger picture. If you take the base cost of one testing strip, multiply it by how many times testing is done each day, and then multiply that by 365, you will see just how much money is being spent annually. When it comes to buying testing strips every penny counts. That’s why it is important to seek out the best possible options for saving money on them.
Most glucose meters also use specific testing strips in tandem with a particular device. When shopping for a glucose meter, it is essential that the buyer looks into testing strip costs as well as the basic cost of the meter. For example, a person may think that they are saving money buying a cheaper glucose meter, but if it requires expensive testing strips, then they are going to spend extra money down the line. A savvy consumer will realize that it may be worthwhile it to spend some extra money on a meter that uses cheaper testing strips.
Generic testing strips exist that offer a less expensive alternative to brand-name strips. The American Diabetes Association states that buying generic testing strips is safe, but some may be more accurate than others1. For those who require extremely accurate information, it would be wise to speak to a physician before making any changes.
Another way to cut down on costs is to buy your diabetic supplies in bulk online. The Internet has made it possible to find the lowest possible prices, and being able to buy in bulk will generally save money. In the case of testing strips, there is no risk to buying many of them, because they will definitely be needed. In addition, many people like the feeling of not having to worry about running out.
Some manufacturers provide rebates and coupons that may make buying their product more attractive. Again, it is important to consider the long-term picture in this situation. If these strips are normally expensive, but a coupon makes them cheaper, it would be wise to buy a large quantity. However, if that coupon is not available in the future, the result may be higher prices in the long run.
When it comes to saving money on medical supplies, the source is everything. At AllegroMedical.com, customers can expect to browse a massive selection of products for an excellent value. Diabetes can get expensive, but keeping costs down is simple through Allegro Medical.
For more than 15 years, AllegroMedical.com has been the leading online distributor of home health and wellness products. Rely on Allegro Medical for all of your diabetes and other health supplies.
According to the Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses (WOCN) Society, over 1 million people in the US develop pressure ulcers each year.1 One of the most proven methods to prevent and treat pressure ulcers is through the use of a therapeutic support surface.
Therapeutic support surfaces can be split into to two main types:
1) Group I – Static mattresses
2) Group II – Dynamic mattresses
Group I Static Mattresses
Group I products are non-powered foam, or low-density mattresses that either replace an existing mattress or rest on top of an existing mattress. The most basic Group I mattresses are lightweight and consist of an inner support system made from one or more types of foam with an outer cover that protects the mattress from moisture, fluids and bacteria. Some Group I mattresses use air or gel, like the ROHO Prodigy Mattress Overlay, which is made of over 100 air cells that help distribute the patient’s weight, while others are made from the patented Tempur-Pedic® foam found in many traditional mattresses.
Group II Dynamic Mattresses
Group II products are powered and use sophisticated electronics and pumps to control the pressure and airflow to the mattress, typically comprised of multiple inflatable air bladders.
Within the Group II classification of dynamic mattresses, the mattresses provide three distinct types of therapy:
1) Alternating pressure therapy
2) Low air-loss therapy
3) Lateral rotation therapy
Alternating Pressure Therapy
Alternating pressure refers to the inflation and deflation of the mattress’s air cells in order to provide the patient pressure redistribution that helps in the treatment and prevention of Stage I to Stage IV pressure ulcers. The pump system of the mattress continuously operates through pre-programmed cycles that increase and decrease pressure.
Alternating pressure mattresses are typically the most economical Group II support surfaces. Some systems are designed to replace a normal mattress and fit on most home care beds, while others are overlaid on top of an existing mattress. These systems use a compressor that continually monitors air pressure in the mattress and maintains the appropriate level of pressure. Most units are 8” thick, use LED displays, operate in 10 minute programmable cycles, have adjustable pressure settings, offer low-pressure and power loss alarms, and offer maximum firm modes for patient transfer and emergency treatment.
Low Air-Loss Therapy
Many Group II therapeutic support surfaces use low air-loss mattresses and many health care professionals generally refer to therapy mattresses as “low air-loss” mattresses.
Low air loss systems incorporate a semi-permeable mattress that allows air to slowly escape the mattress surface. The benefit of low air-loss mattresses lies in their ability to promote a dry healing environment while keeping the skin cool. The escaping air aids in the evaporation of moisture on the skin.
Low air loss mattresses also offer the ability to alternate pressure throughout zones in the mattress system just like the more basic alternating pressure mattress but with the added benefit of a cooler and dryer sleep surface.
Lateral Rotation Therapy
Some of the most advanced therapeutic support surfaces use sophisticated programming and miniaturized pumps and solenoid valves that work in concert to effectively rotate a patient. Air cells inflate and deflate in a sequence which simulates the unconscious rolling, or shifting motion experienced by most people. This gentle turning and rotation helps ensure that a patient at risk of pressure ulcers will achieve the best possible pressure relief. Most high-end lateral rotation systems also feature low air-loss capability to wick away moisture.
Therapeutic mattresses, from simple Group I static foam mattresses to sophisticated Group II dynamic mattresses, are the most reliable way of preventing and treating pressure ulcers. Whether choosing foam mattress topper or a lateral rotation therapy mattress, therapeutic support surfaces are the caregiver’s go-to product to combat pressure ulcers.
Please always consult with your doctor to choose the therapeutic support surface or mattress that is best for you. With one of the broadest selections on the web for health and wellness products, you can always rely on AllegroMedical.com for all of your personal care and special condition needs.