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Pressure Data

Introduction: Pressure ulcers, defined as localized injury to the surface of the skin or underlying tissue due to pressure and shear forces acting at the body-mattress interface, are an incredibly serious health care problem (1). The costs associated with pressure ulcer treatment and the consequent human suffering can be immense. Pressure ulcers can increase a hospital stay by up to 50%, and treatments can cost from $10,000 to $86,000 (4). Pressure ulcer prevalence in Canada is as high as 26%, which is greater than rates found in the US and Netherlands (3). It is clear that greater attention to the problem is needed, warranting the evaluation of prevention products.  


Purpose: To determine surface pressure measurements for various Hexyoo Gel pads (opusGel) compared to competitor products.


Methodology: A repeated measures design was used to test surface pressure of various products. A force sensing array (FSA) pressure mapping system (Vista Medical, FSA version 4.0.225) was placed on top of various products and a 4kg cylinder rested on the center of the pressure pad for 2 minutes each.










  • Opus gel pads greatly reduced peak pressure at the object-floor interface.
  • Cylinder-floor pressure saturated the pressure mat and peaked at 200 mmHg.
  • The Opus 85, 8185 and 84 gels reduced peak pressure by 67%, 72% and 79%, respectively when compared to the Floor condition.
  • Competitor products (large square and foam) recorded a peak pressure of 81 and 75 mmHg. For the same condition, the opus 84 produced only 42 mmHg.


Next Steps:

  • Move from the proof of principle that was established with the weighted object, to more anatomically relevant measurements
  • Measurements will include:

-         Contact pressure between the body and mattress for a variety of regions and Gel Pads.

-         Temperature between the body and mattress for each region.

-         Participant discomfort scores using a ratings of perceived discomfort scale.

References: 1. European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel and National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, 2009. 2. New PW et al., 2004. 3. Woodbury MG and Houghton PE, 2004. 4. Bradley CHF et al., 2005.

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