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Patient Protection - Product Overview - Technology - Peak Pressure - Bottoming Out - Research - Applications

The Mechanism of “Bottoming Out”
Knowing that peak pressure is a problem that results in
patient discomfort and potentially even tissue damage,
it is important, to understand what causes this. Peak
pressure loads are primarily the result of a phenomenon
commonly referred to as “bottoming out”. This is a term
borrowed from the support surface industry to describe
what happens when a patient comes into contact with
the surface on which a support mattress has been installed.
The practical impact is that there is no longer any pressure
redistribution and peak pressures result.

Traditional foam pads allow the patient to “bottom out”
when they become so compressed and hard, or simply
worn out, that the redistribution of weight is no longer
possible. As weight becomes increasingly concentrated
(peak pressure), there is essentially no way for the body
to relieve venous congestion. The pressure spikes
associated with “bottoming out” commonly occur in
the occipital area, sacrum, heal, trochanters, and scapula.
When external forces are greater than the internal blood
pressure of the capillaries, blood flow is severely restricted
resulting in tissue ischemia, pain, discomfort and erythema
(one of the earliest signs of a pressure ulcer).

The advanced pressure managing core used in the
manufacture of Patient Comfort Systems’ products
utilizes a combination of materials with various densities
and flow rates designed to properly support the body and
keep it suspended above the solid table on which the
mattress is placed. This effectively manages the forces
which can lead to “bottoming out”.


Click the image to see pressure maps of a patient
using Patient Comfort System's pads vs standard pads