Decubitus is one of the most difficult management problems encountered in bedridden elderly patients. Relief of pressure over decubitus is the most important principle of the management. We developed a rolling air cushion bed which turns the patient to a 15-degree inclined lateral position with an inflating ripple mattress, a longitudinally aligned air inflatable tube. The position of the patients was changed between right and left laterals and to supine every 15 minutes automatically. Nineteen bedridden patients with decubitus used the rolling air cushion bed for 3 months and 12 bedridden patients with decubitus used a conventional bed and had their position changes every 2 hours by care givers. Severity of decubitus was divided into 4 grades and the decubitus significantly improved from 2.8 (S.E. 0.2) to 2.0 (S.E. 0.3) after 3 months in patients using the rolling air cushion bed, while in patients with conventional beds it changed from 3.0 (S.E. 0.2) to 3.2 (S.E. 0.2) (not statistically significant). We suggest that the rolling air cushion bed would be beneficial to decubitus relief in bedridden elderly and may relieve labor by care givers.
1998 Tohoku University Medical Press