Pressure care cushions or pressure relief cushions are used to prevent the development of pressure injuries in those who are themselves extremely restricted in mobility or depend on others when changing position. Sitting in one position for a long period of time can cause damage to deep-lying tissues that show very few symptoms in early stages. Without a practised eye on hand to detect the very first skin changes, pressure sores rapidly grow in size in the deeper tissues, eventually breaking through to the surface skin. Lack of blood supply makes treatment of pressure sores a very slow process and prevention is always the best remedy.
By distributing a person’s weight over a larger area of a soft, smooth material it is possible to significantly lower pressure, shear and friction forces. These three forces are responsible for pressure injury development. Lower pressure allows improved blood flow and tissue oxygenation, less shear forces mean lower risk of tearing of the underlying tissues, and less friction forces mean less injuries to the skin surface.
Pressure care cushions are usually gel, air-filled cell or modular foam systems with non-slip, low-friction covers. These can be used for every at-risk individual, from young children to adults, from the morbidly obese to the very underweight, and from the elderly to the disabled, to increase comfort and lower pressure sore risk.