Span-America Patented Support Surfaces Design Overcomes Patient Care Limitations of Recessed Deck Bed Frames

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Enhanced patient safety and comfort are among the features engineered into Span-America surfaces now available in recessed deck models for acute care.

recessed deck bed, hospital bed, medical bed

An adaptation of Span’s patented PressureGuard® Safety Edge™ brings added fall prevention to recessed deck beds.

The company's decision to design surfaces for recessed deck beds was driven by many hospitals' dissatisfaction with the limited options available due to large facility purchases of the recessed deck style.

Recognizing the need for therapeutic support surfaces that can better address the unique challenges of a popular specialty hospital bed design, Span-America Medical Systems, Inc. recently expanded its line of specialty surfaces for recessed deck frames.

Recessed deck beds feature a style of bed frame purchased by thousands of hospitals throughout North America during the last decade. These beds are characterized by the V-shape cavity into which a specialty support surface—the air and foam mattresses on which the user lays—is placed.

Span-America now offers a total of five distinct recessed deck support surface models to accommodate these bed frames. All share a series of patented design features engineered specifically to overcome the restrictive nature of the V-shaped deck.

As hospitals replace original equipment surfaces due to age and wear, specialty pressure management product manufacturers like Span-America are poised to deliver second generation therapeutic mattresses that better address these challenges.

Jim O’Reagan, VP of Research and Development and Engineering for Span-America, says the company’s decision to design surfaces for recessed deck beds was driven by many hospitals’ dissatisfaction with the limited options available due to large facility purchases of the recessed deck style.

“Our primary design goal was to overcome the two most common shortcomings of the ‘first generation’ surfaces offered by our competitors,” O’Reagan explains. “First, the fixed sides of the deep V-shaped deck cavity tend to impede the amount of immersion and envelopment the support surface can provide. This affects both pressure redistribution and patient comfort. Second, the shape of the deck makes it more difficult to include edge-of-bed safety and fall prevention features so critical in the acute care setting.”

For improved bed safety, Span-America engineers created a modified version of the company’s proven Safety Edge™ design. The relative motion between the system’s inner and outer components creates a “cradling” effect when the patient sits on or moves toward the edge of the bed.

The result is a subtle redirection of the patient’s center of gravity safely inward toward the center of the mattress instead of outward toward the floor. The design also includes a compressible section to accommodate multiple mattress lengths and foot positions.

The series also includes PressureGuard® Custom Care® Convertible models, which offer the choice of non-powered reactive therapy or – with the addition of a control unit – active powered air therapies in a single surface. Among the powered air therapies offered in various models of the Span recessed deck series are micro-climate management, alternating pressure and lateral rotation.

Non-powered reactive therapy models in the series include the PressureGuard® Custom Care and Geo-Mattress UltraMax™. In line with the Span commitment to durability and robust quality, these surfaces feature an ultra-high performance foam seat section made from UHP 500™ foam – a proprietary Span formulation.

Repeated head of bed elevating, such as at mealtimes, and the patient’s concentrated weight combine to expose the seat section to the highest level of mechanical fatigue. A unique cellular structure gives UHP 500 a combination of resiliency, recovery, comfort and protection against “bottoming out” not achievable with foams commonly used in medical support surfaces.

About Span-America Medical Systems, Inc.
Span-America manufactures and markets a comprehensive selection of pressure management products, beds and furniture for the medical market, including PressureGuard®, Geo-Mattress®, Geo-Matt®, Span+Aids®, Selan®, the innovative Encore™ and Q-Series beds. The company also supplies custom foam and packaging products to the consumer and industrial markets. Span-America's stock is traded on The NASDAQ Stock Market's National Market under the symbol "SPAN."

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Joe Benedict
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