What is Pressure Mapping?
A pressure map is a thin, sensor mat linked to a computer whereby a clinician can assess pressure distribution of the human body. When a patient sits or lies on the mat (usually placed on a chair or bed), a computer screen display a map of pressure areas using colors, numbers, and a graphic image of the patient (see the image below).
Typically, hotter colors (the reds) indicate areas of high pressures, while the cooler colors (the blues) indicate areas of lower pressures. The display usually has several options, including a three-dimensional display of peak pressure areas and a statistical analysis.
How is Pressure Mapping Helpful?
Pressure mapping assesses pressure of the human body on a surface and allows a therapist, equipment provider or wheelchair user to instantaneously view the amount of pressure which exists under a patient. Mapping can detect asymmetries, such as pelvic obliquities or rotation, or peak pressure concerns over bony prominences, which are often undetectable by the naked eye.
When a patient sits on a mat, the evaluator has a clearer picture of problem pressure areas and can determine the adjustments necessary to ensure adequate pressure distribution to: Improve client comfort and fit with the equipment, and reduce/avoid pressure ulcers and related wounds (these visual displays provide key data to augment nursing assessment of areas of potential tissue damage). Patients benefit from the visual feedback, so they can identify areas of concern and modify their position accordingly.
There is also an economic benefit from using mapping, as Medicare and many insurance companies do not reimburse for the extra costs of treating preventable conditions, including pressure ulcers. Mapping information can be used to enhance a letter of medical necessity with images, or identify solutions to difficult seating situations by providing immediate feedback about the interventions being implemented.
Med One is one of a very few complex mobility providers in Arizona which provide pressure mapping services for its referral sources. Please call us TODAY so we can provide PRESSURE MAPPING to your facility / office: 480.835.9100 - ask for our ATP (Assistive Technology Professional).