-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Nursing home residents
whose beds have newer high-density foam mattresses may not have to
be turned every two hours to prevent bedsores, according to a new
The two-hour standard, which has been used for more than 50
years, was necessary because older mattresses that had spring coils
and were covered in thick plastic put more pressure on residents'
bodies than the newer high-density foam mattresses, the researchers
Their study included 960 nursing home residents in 29 facilities
in the United States and Canada who had a moderate to high risk of
developing bedsores (also called pressure sores) and had
high-density foam mattresses on their beds. The participants were
randomly assigned to be turned at intervals of two, three or four
After three weeks, none of the residents had developed serious
bedsores, according to the U.S. National Institutes of
Health-funded study recently published in the
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
"We are very interested in preventing pressure ulcers. It's a serious health problem. Also, we're interested in improving care for nursing home residents. Turning residents every two hours throughout the night awakens them, and many people can't go back to sleep, therefore decreasing their quality of life," study leader Nancy Bergstrom, associate dean at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Nursing, said in a center news release.
The study findings show "that turning residents every two hours
may no longer be necessary when high-density mattresses are in
place and nursing time can be used to attend to other resident
needs, such as feeding, assisted mobility and ultimately develop a
stronger relationship with their residents," study co-leader Susan
Horn, of the Institute for Clinical Outcomes Research, said in the
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about
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