Prevention of Decubiti is a function of the patient's condition, the care given and the bedding on which the patient lies. To make a sound decision on the use of specific bedding, accurate information on contact pressure, shear, friction, and blood flow with that product is needed. To address this concern, the overall goals for the research are to: determine the most accurate and reproducible pressure-measuring instruments for each pressure site; develop instrumentation to accurately measure shear; and, incorporate friction and blood flow measurement methods into the evaluation profile.
The specific aims of this proposed Phase I research are to: (1) design calibration models and calibration test protocols for pressure-measuring instrumentation. This will be accomplished through feasibility analysis and design of calibration models and protocols; and, (2) determine the feasibility of instrumentation for shear measurement. This will be accomplished with feasibility screens, ranking and evaluations. The instruments and procedures developed in this program will be of significant commercial benefit in the design, development and qualification of effective bedding and covering materials. The innovative features of this program are true shear measurement, true pressure measurement for beds and an integrated system for completely characterizing devices used for the prevention of decubiti.