How To Choose And Use Mattress Pads
What are mattress pads?
How To Choose And Use Mattress Pads Care Guide
- How To Choose And Use Mattress Pads
- En Espanol
Mattress pads (also called mattress overlays) lie on top of a regular mattress to help decrease pressure on the skin. This helps improve blood flow, and prevent open sores in people who stay in bed most of the time. There are many different types of special mattress pads. The most common types are egg crate and alternating pressure pads.
What is an egg crate pad?
This soft foam pad has bumps and dips that look like a large egg carton. You can buy an egg crate mattress pad at a department or medical supply store. Follow these steps to put the egg crate pad on a mattress.
- Take the sheets off of the bed.
- Put the egg crate pad on top of the regular mattress with the bumps facing up (away from the mattress).
- Cover the egg crate mattress with a sheet.
- Put a waterproof pad (cloth or disposable) on the bed where the person's rear end will rest. This will help protect the bed linens and egg crate pad from getting soiled. A cloth pad may also help you move a person up in bed without rubbing his skin on the sheets.
What is an alternating pressure pad?
An alternating pressure pad goes under the sheets and covers the mattress top. It is made of soft plastic divided into sections that have water or air inside. A tube goes from the pad to an electric pump. The pump inflates and deflates the divided sections in the pad. An alternating pressure pad may be needed to help heal open sores. You can buy or rent an alternating pressure pad from most medical supply stores. Follow these steps to put the pad on the bed.
- Always read and follow the directions that came with the pad when using an alternating pressure pad.
- Check the cord and plug of the electric pump to make sure they are not cracked or torn. If the outlet only has two holes and the plug has three prongs, do not use the outlet. Overloading an electrical outlet may start a fire.
- Take the sheets off of the bed.
- Put the pad on top of the mattress and unfold it. Follow the instructions to make sure the correct side faces away from the mattress top.
- Put the electric pump on a footstool or on the floor where no one will trip over it.
- Hook the tubes on the pad to the electric pump. Make sure the tubing is not twisted or pinched.
- Turn on the electric pump and check the pad to make sure that the sections are filling and emptying.
- Cover the pad with a bottom or fitted sheet.
- Move the person back into bed and help him get comfortable.
- Clean the pad with a wet cloth and mild soap when you change bed linens and when it gets soiled. Be sure to dry it well before covering it with a sheet. Do not use rubbing alcohol to clean the pad. Alcohol may damage the plastic cover.
- Check with the device supplier or the directions before using an additional pad or turn sheet under the person's bottom. Some cloth or disposable (paper) pads may not allow the alternating pressure pad to work as well as it could.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.