While the question in the title is an important question, the soveiluften cover was not invented with the medical industry in mind nor was it our intent to find a solution to eliminate bed sores. It was during the design and testing of the cover that we realized this cover is ideal for the medical industry.
If you’ve read a little on our website, our cover is in tension when the air mattress is inflated. Because of equal and opposite forces no outside apparatus is required. The mattress pushes outwards, the cover pushes back on the mattress. It creates a super taut surface. No wrinkles, no sinking, just an ideal sleeping surface.
Prior to filing for patent we discovered a patent filed in 1996. The inventor, Earl D. Music, was taking care of his adult son who was confined to his bed. He discovered that pulling a sheet tight across the top of the air mattress helped eliminate his son’s bed sores. If you think about why, it makes sense. I’ll post his background of invention as he does an amazing job describing the problem and his solution.
Soveiluften air mattress covers achieve the same as Mr. Music’s invention.
“SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Through long term experimentation with my own adult son who has been bed ridden for over five years and who my wife and I care for in our home, I have developed a bed and mattress assembly which substantially eliminates the problem of bed sores and which also makes it extremely easy to roll the patient from side to side on the bed. Additionally, the bed and mattress assembly is relatively economical to construct and is easy to assemble and use.
The mattress assembly has been especially developed for use on an articulated bed frame, but it also may be used on an conventional fixed bed frame.
In its simplest form, my bed assembly includes a bed frame having a structural perimeter frame work. An inflatable mattress lies on top of the bed frame. A covering overlies the top of the inflatable mattress. A plurality of tensioning devices are placed about the periphery of the covering and are connected between the covering and the structural perimeter framework of the bed frame. The tensioning devices hold the covering taut and smooth over the top of the inflatable mattress. Also, the tensioning devices hold down the mattress and prevent the outer periphery of the mattress from bending upwardly when the patient lies on the inflatable mattress.
When used upon an articulated bed frame, the plurality of tensioning devices will hold the covering smooth and taut over the top of the inflatable mattress in multiple articulated position of the articulated bed frame.
This combination of components provides several significant advantages.
First, the covering serves as the undersheet for the patient and provides a firm smooth wrinkle free surface upon which the patient can lie. I have determined that the most important goal in preventing bed sores is to eliminate sources of irritation such as wrinkled sheets and the like which are presented by conventional beds. Thus, with the patient laying upon the smooth wrinkle free surface these sources of irritation are eliminated and if the patient is properly cared for bed sores are eliminated.
A second unique advantage of the combination is that by providing a very firm supporting surface for the patient, it is much easier for a care giver to roll the patient over on the mattress. By improving the ease with which the care giver can move the patient upon the mattress, it becomes much more likely that the patient will be periodically moved by the care giver. This also greatly reduces the incidents of bed sores, since bed sores typically result from the patient lying in one position for long periods of time upon an irritating surface.
Another very distinct advantage which is provided by the bed assembly described above is that relatively inexpensive inflatable air mattresses can be utilized and will last for many months if they are properly used in combination with the covering and plurality of tensioning means described above. On the other hand, a simple air mattress used alone will last only a few weeks.
Still another advantage of the present invention as contrasted to the use of a simple inflatable air bed without the covering and tensioning means of the present invention is that the patient can be placed upon the bed and the covering and tensioning means will hold down the periphery of the bed so it does not flip up thus leaving the patient lying in a depression in the mattress. The covering means and resilient tensioning devices included in the present invention will hold the outer periphery of the mattress fixed in place regardless of the load placed on the mattress.
Thus it is a general object of the present invention to provide an improved bed assembly which is suitable for long term care patients and which will prevent the creation of bed sores on such patients.
It is another object of the present invention to provide an improved bed assembly upon which a patient may be easily moved by a care giver.
Still another object of the present invention is the construction of a bed assembly which is economical to build and install and is easy to use by the care giver.
Numerous other objects,features and advantages of the present invention will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the following disclosure when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.”