Heel pressure ulcers are considerably common in people who are immobile, have significantly reduced mobility, or have poor skin integrity. This area has increased risk due to the prominent bone at the back of the heel, with thin layers of skin and tissue, and fewer tendons covering the bone in that area. If pressure is put on the heel for prolonged periods of time, this is when an ulcer starts to develop.
Pressure ulcers on the heel can develop easily beginning at Category 1 and progress through to Category 4. This could be slight discolouration, only damaging the dermis, or can be damage right through to the tissue, muscle and bone. When this occurs, the area may be swollen, warm and red and can be considerably painful. Once a slight discolouration or development of a wound is seen it is important that it is treated the same as a Category 4 wound, to ensure healing occurs. This may involve regular turning and repositioning, elevation of the feet, and an effective pressure relieving mattress.
The OffloaderTM concept has been designed and developed for those who have or are at risk of pressure wounds on the heel. This assists by increasing the blood flow to the heels, which reduces the risk of the development of pressure wounds. Providing total elevation of the heels allows for increased care and significantly improves the healing processes, reducing time and cost. Whilst ensuring the pressure care needs are met, it is also important to consider the care for any current or developing wounds on the heels. As a result, the heel elevation provides easy access for inspection, cleaning, dressing and care in this area. This is important to help carers, eliminating the need for them to hold the legs whilst providing care for the heels.
This design is extremely easy to use, without having the need to store when not in use. As the Oska foam mattresses consist of two layers of quality foam, the top layer can be easily folded back under itself, providing suspension of the heel, with “zero pressure”. It is ideal to use this feature when someone is spending longer periods of time in bed and are at risk of developing, or already have pressure wounds on the heels.