Squirrel Medical Ltd, situated at the Tamar Science Park, Plymouth have been granted a patent for inventing a revolutionary new mattress that has been designed to prevent pressure ulcers whilst stopping the dangerous phenomena of bed falls.
It is estimated that the NHS spend 4% of its annual budget on pressure ulcers and that whilst their existing mattress stocks will help them, their often *unstable nature means that they will sometimes trigger bed falls.
This can be an acute problem in care homes, hospices and domestic environments where the continuous monitoring of the patient is difficult.
It is estimated that one person in the UK dies each month as a direct result of a bed fall with circa 44,000 falls per annum.
In order to combat bed falls a safety standard (BSen1970) was introduced in June 2002, which identified a benchmark depth of mattress of just 12.5cm (5").
This depth was consistent with existing methodology and addressed the stability of the patient, safe sleeping height, safe transfer height and the height of the protective bed rails.
The standard did not legislate for dynamic air mattresses, which are now widely used (to prevent pressure ulcers) within care homes.
Dynamic air mattresses can involve considerable deflation and thus pose a significant risk to the patient in terms of bed falls. Most dynamic mattresses exceed the recommended safe depth of 12.5cm when used on a modern nursing bed.
This calls into question the certificate of conformity or CE Mark (BSen1970) and has important legal, safety and insurance issues.
The Squirrel Diamond uses a proven dynamic technology that has been re modelled to provide a stable 12.5cm depth - and so fits all of 1.3 million nursing beds within the EU in a safe and legal manner.
It offers a level of stability similar to the aforementioned foam construction and whilst it would be wrong to imply it will stop all falls - its stability will help to prevent falls amongst those that require dynamic capillary stimulation.
Squirrel Medical offered 100 primary care providers a 21-day trial and evaluation of the Squirrel Diamond, which has resulted in a 98.6%, take up. Prominent care providers now use Squirrel Diamond to include:
Sue Ryder Care
Royal Naval Benevolent Trust
North London Hospice
Royal Infirmary Chelsea
The Intellectual Property Office awarded the patent to brothers Rick & Gary Baker on the 16th of February 2012.
The Squirrel Diamond fits all nursing beds in a safe and legal manner (BS EN 1970) and due to its low profile complete with 58 air chambers offers additional stability. This means that it can reduce instances of bed falls whilst being used as an aid to prevent pressure ulcers.
More information at: http://www.squirrelmedicalshop.co.uk/