Avoiding Sore Points in Bed

Care Concept Mahnke Pressure MattressMost of the time, a bed is a welcome place of rest, which has it’s pleasurable and more energetic interludes too! for those who are bedridden through illness or old age, it can become a lethal last resting space. Prolonged pressure on parts of the body cuts off blood supplies and results in bed sores that can rapidly lead to complications if not treated.
When I accompanied Bernd Mahnke, of Care Concept Mahnke, around the country last week, he was showing UK companies a compact solution for intensive care wards and nursing homes alike, his radical pressure mattress.

Pressure mattresses have been around for a while. They are essentially hi-tech air-beds in which individual compartments are continually cycled through inflation and deflation to ensure that all parts of the body in contact with a mattress are relieved of pressure for a period to prevent bed sores.

Care Concept’s mattress arose out of the frustration that Bernd and his colleagues experienced when servicing existing models, where long trip-hazard cabling, external and unreliable pumps and low cost materials often meant that a pressure mattress had a very limited life span.

Using his experience and feedback from care personnel, he built a company that constructed a more user friendly and reliable item out of high quality materials, easily disinfected, with top of the range silent and reliable pumps hidden within the mattress itself. A simple, robust, user-friendly hand-held control is used to regulate the mattress which, as Bernd demonstrated, can be easily transported (in a golf bag!), inflated and in use within minutes.
The market for pressure mattresses is driven, like many markets, by price, so we were greeted with a degree of healthy scepticism by the UK companies we visited! However, all were complimentary once the mattress was demonstrated.

It says something about the mutual understanding of the problems underlying an essential piece of highly designed equipment, that the UK hosts did not just express their feelings on the suitability of the device. They also volunteered technical advice and shared their experience of the UK market, with suggestions of minor modifications and adaptations for even greater acceptance to the UK end user - whether the UK company was interested in taking on Bernd’s product into their portfolio or not.

Bernd left, having gained significant interest from some of the UK hosts and with more UK specific market experience to allow the continued development and improvement of an already commercial model. By acting both as Bernd’s voice and complementing his technical expertise, I and Milton Contact gained further insight into another medical device sector, applications and solutions.

For more information on Care Concept Mahnke’s pressure mattress system, visit http://www.careconcept-mahnke.de/ or get in touch with the author on 01223 440024.

Dr Chris Thomas,
Director, Milton Contact Ltd