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Diferenças nas Almofadas Viscoelásticas para a Prevenção de Úlceras de Pressão

Differences in Viscoelastic Pillows for the Prevention of Pressure Ulcers

Pressure ulcers, or bedsores, are a concern for users who remain confined to bed or chair for long periods of time.

Ulcers result from prolonged pressure on specific areas of the body, resulting in reduced blood flow and tissue damage.

An effective strategy to prevent pressure ulcers is the use of memory foam pillows. However, memory foam pillows are not all the same, as they are made of foams of different densities.


What is memory foam?

Viscoelastic foam is a unique material that responds to the pressure and temperature emitted by the body, creating a perfect contour that adapts to the user's individual anatomy.

This feature allows the pillow to provide support, relieve pressure on pressure points and promote correct positioning.

The density of the viscoelastic foam is measured in kilograms (kg) per cubic meter (m³) and represents a crucial point in the comfort and effectiveness of the cushion in preventing the appearance of bedsores.

Foam density differences

Pillows are generally categorized by risk levels (low, medium and high) based on the density of the memory foam.

Viscoelastic foam generally has densities between 50 and 100kg/m³.

Each foam density level has different benefits and considerations for preventing bedsores:

Each density offers distinct benefits and considerations for pressure ulcer prevention:

Low density foam

The cushions are softer and offer a softer surface; offer better compliance and pressure relief for users with reduced body weight. These pillows are indicated for use for short periods of time or by users without existing pressure ulcers.

Medium density foam

These pillows strike a good balance between softness and support; They guarantee anatomy-appropriate contouring and pressure relief for a wide range of users and conditions. They are considered the most comprehensive options for preventing the appearance of bedsores.

High density foam

The cushions are firmer and offer improved support and durability; they distribute body weight in a more balanced way and are recommended for users with higher body weight. These pillows are beneficial for users who are at high risk of pressure ulcers, or for users who already have pressure ulcers.

How to choose the appropriate density?

The choice of pillow density level depends on individual needs and circumstances. You must consider the following factors:

Body Weight and Weight Distribution : Lower body weight users (30-60kg) may find low density foam pillows comfortable, while higher body weight users may require medium or high density for support and comfort.

Existence of pressure ulcers : Users who have pressure ulcers (bedsores) or who are at higher risk of developing ulcers should opt for high-density pillows, to minimize future injuries to the affected areas and reduce recovery time.

Comfort preference : Personal comfort level is a very important factor when choosing a pillow. Try different densities to choose one that offers the perfect balance between comfort and support.

Differences in foam modeling: Injected vs. Cropped

Injected viscoelastic foam pillows

Injected foam pillows are manufactured by injecting viscoelastic foam directly into a mold, creating a solid block.

  1. Consistent Support: Solid foam cushions provide consistent support throughout the entire cushion. Foam injection ensures uniform density and firmness.

  2. Improved durability: The solid structure of the injected foam improves the durability of the cushion; the pillow is less likely to lose shape or firmness, ensuring long-lasting support and comfort.

  3. Pressure Relief: The injected foam allows perfect adaptation to the individual anatomy, distributing pressure evenly, resulting in a reduced risk of pressure ulcers.

Scalloped memory foam pillows

Cut-out foam pillows are, as the name suggests, manufactured by cutting blocks of memory foam into the desired shape and size.

  1. Personalized options: Cut foam offers a wide range of personalized options, allowing you to choose the shape, size and thickness, based on the user's preference. This possibility is particularly important for the manufacture of custom-made mattresses or toppers, which can accommodate specific requirements.

  2. Ventilation and Breathability: Cut foam often offers ventilated channels or perforations, which increase air circulation. This feature guarantees the breathability of the pillow, resulting in a more comfortable experience for the user, allowing the temperature felt to be regulated.

  3. Variable firmness: Depending on the specific design and cut, die-cut foam can offer varying levels of firmness in the same cushion. Many models offer cutouts in the upper area of ​​the pillow, offering more softness in the upper area, with the necessary firmness and support at the base of the pillow.

Gel Pillows - Bubbles and Layers

Gel layer or bubble pillows incorporate a layer or micro-bubbles of gel on the surface of the pillow. Both options have beneficial characteristics for preventing the appearance of pressure ulcers:

  1. Pressure redistribution : The bubbles or layers of gel have the ability to redistribute pressure, adapting perfectly to the user's anatomy. Reducing pressure exerted in risk areas results in improved blood circulation in the affected area, reducing the risk of ulcers.

  2. Greater comfort and support : The addition of gel offers an additional layer of support to the pillow, increasing support and comfort. The soft, malleable nature of the gel results in a more comfortable surface.

  3. Temperature Regulation : Gel pillows have excellent temperature regulation properties. The cooling effect of the gel can help dissipate heat, preventing discomfort and improving wound and skin recovery conditions.

  4. Long-lasting performance: Gel pads are known for their durability. The gel material is resistant to deformation, ensuring even distribution of pressure and support.
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