The COVID-19 virus is extremely contagious making infection control a top priority. A recent webinar reported that one cough could infect more than 4 people.
Hospitals, nursing homes and community centers implemented strict cleaning and disinfecting protocols to slow the spread of the virus. But many healthcare providers are concerned if they are doing enough and have the best equipment.
Mattresses have become an area of high anxiety
When faced with the challenges of the pandemic, LTC staff are concerned about:
- If individuals become ill, how can we protect them from developing a pressure injury since they are spending more hours in bed?
- How can we reduce the volume of laundering of contaminated linen?
- How can we reduce the risk of contaminating the mattress?
We spoke in an earlier blog about the contamination risk between porous and non-porous surfaces. Porous surfaces, such as open cell foams, allow the virus to easily enter and contaminate the material. Once contaminated, a porous surface must be:
- Cleaned with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces;
- Laundered with the manufacturer’s instructions using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items;
- Dried completely.
However, foam mattresses cannot be laundered. There is no proof that a spray cleaner or disinfectant can get into every nook and cranny to prevent spread of the infection. As a result, many hospitals and nursing homes find themselves with a mattress shortage due to throwing away thousands of contaminated foam mattresses.
Overlays are a safe and effective solution
For this reason, it is safer to look for an alternative. The answer: the use of a non-porous mattress overlay that can be cleaned and disinfected effectively to stop the spread of infection.
One simple and inexpensive solution on the market is the ROHO® PRODIGY Mattress Overlay:
- Made with a wipeable surface, it can be cleaned thoroughly with soap and water, and disinfected using the CDC guidelines recommended bleach/water solution.*
- PRODIGY can be cleaned and/or disinfected in the individual’s room, multiple times per day, following specific facility protocols to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
- The non-porous surface allows for more thorough cleaning and disinfection than soft porous surfaces (such as foam). This means it can be used with multiple individuals, even if infection had been present.
- Light and portable, the PRODIGY is used on top of standard hospital, nursing home, home care, or consumer mattresses.
- As a non-powered overlay, it is not dependent on an electrical air pump, so it produces no sound, heat or vibrations.
- The built-in skin protection properties of immersion and envelopment of the PRODIGY air cells reduces the risk of pressure injuries for clients in bed for extended periods.
- Meets the NPIAP recommendation (7.5): Consider using a reactive air mattress or overlay for individuals at risk for developing pressure injuries.
The PRODIGY can be used without a fitted sheet, with the individual resting directly on the overlay. To use in this capacity, the use of the elastic strapping keeps the overlay in place over the existing mattress.
The second option is to use the Reusable Incontinent Cover which can replace the fitted sheet. With this option, the reusable cover fits over both the PRODIGY and underlying mattress, reducing contamination risk. This cover also serves to protect the porous underlying mattresses.
Many companies are searching their product portfolios, desperately looking for solutions to help flatten the curve of infection. With the mattress being such an area of concern, consider how the PRODIGY Mattress Overlay can help with infection control during this challenging time and beyond!
*It is important to note that as the knowledge of this virus grows, guidelines can evolve. Today’s discussion is referencing information from April 2, 2020. Please visit this site regularly for any updates: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html
European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel and Pan Pacific Pressure Injury Alliance. Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers/Injuries: Clinical Practice Guideline. Emily Haesler (Ed.) EPUAP/NPIAP/PPPIA: 2019.
Ana Endsjo, MOTR/L, CLT
National Education Manager - Long Term Care Division
Ana Endsjo has worked as an occupational therapist since 2001 in a variety of treatment settings. She has mainly worked with the geriatric population, dedicated to the betterment of the treatment of the elderly in long term care centers. Her focus has been on seating and positioning and contracture management of the nursing home resident. With this experience, her hope is to guide other therapists, rehab directors, nurses, and administrators through educational guides, blogs, webinars, and live courses in her role as National Education Manager - Long Term Care Division.