Prolonged bed rest can lead to serious health risks, particularly for bedridden individuals, such as patients recovering from illness or seniors with limited mobility. One of the critical challenges faced by these individuals is the development of pressure ulcers, which result from prolonged pressure on specific areas of the skin. However, the human body possesses a remarkable mechanism called Pressure-Induced Vasodilation (PIV) that helps maintain blood flow and tissue health under low-pressure conditions.
PIV involves the dilation of blood vessels in response to intermittent pressure, promoting improved blood circulation and oxygenation in the skin and underlying tissues. An essential player in this process is the endothelium, the inner lining of blood vessels, which releases key vasodilator factors to support healthy vascular function.
Innovative medical technology has now led to the development of Vestims® Active Mattresses, which actively stimulate PIV and enhance endothelial function. In this blog post, we will explore the science behind PIV and endothelial function, and how Vestims® Active Mattresses offer a revolutionary solution in preventing pressure ulcers and promoting skin health during extended bed rest.
Understanding Pressure-Induced Vasodilation (PIV):
Pressure-Induced Vasodilation is a critical physiological response that occurs when the skin is exposed to intermittent pressure. When external pressure changes periodically, such as during normal body movements or repositioning during sleep, the sensory nerve endings in the skin are activated. These sensory nerve endings release essential vasodilator neuropeptides, such as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP).
These vasodilator neuropeptides interact with the endothelial cells lining the blood vessels. In response, the endothelium releases vasodilator factors, particularly nitric oxide (NO) and prostacyclin (PGI2). Nitric oxide relaxes the smooth muscles in the blood vessel walls, leading to vasodilation and improved blood flow. Prostacyclin also promotes vasodilation and prevents platelet aggregation and blood clot formation, further supporting healthy blood circulation.
Enhancing Endothelial Function with Vestims® Active Mattresses:
Vestims® Active Mattresses represent a breakthrough in medical technology designed to replicate the body's natural response to low pressure and promote PIV. These innovative mattresses are equipped with alternating air cells or fluid-filled chambers that rhythmically inflate and deflate, creating cyclic changes in pressure. This dynamic cycling redistributes body weight across various body parts, preventing continuous pressure on any single area and encouraging PIV.
As the Vestims® Active Mattress adjusts its pressure points at regular intervals, sensory nerve endings in the skin are activated, triggering the release of vasodilator neuropeptides. Consequently, the endothelium responds by releasing nitric oxide and prostacyclin, inducing vasodilation and increased blood flow to the skin and underlying tissues.
The Benefits of Vestims® Active Mattresses:
- Prevention of Pressure Ulcers: By stimulating PIV, Vestims® Active Mattresses effectively reduce the risk of pressure ulcers, as they maintain adequate blood flow and tissue perfusion in bedridden individuals.
- Enhanced Skin Health: Improved blood flow and oxygenation facilitated by active mattresses support tissue repair and promote overall skin health, minimizing the risk of skin breakdown and complications.
- Comfort and Support: Vestims® Active Mattresses provide a comfortable and supportive surface, ensuring patients' well-being and minimizing discomfort during extended bed rest.
Vestims® Active Mattresses have revolutionized patient care by harnessing the power of Pressure-Induced Vasodilation and enhancing endothelial function. By promoting optimal blood flow and oxygenation, these mattresses effectively prevent pressure ulcers and promote skin health for individuals undergoing extended bed rest. As medical technology continues to advance, Vestims® Active Mattresses hold the promise of significantly improving the quality of life for bedridden individuals worldwide and transforming the way we approach extended bed rest care.
- Fouchard M, Misery L, Le Garrec R, Sigaudo-Roussel D, Fromy B. Alteration of Pressure-Induced Vasodilation in Aging and Diabetes, a Neuro-Vascular Damage. Front Physiol. 2019 Jul 3;10:862. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00862. PMID: 31333501; PMCID: PMC6616153.
- Baker G, Bloxham S, Laden J, Gush R. Vascular endothelial function is improved after active mattress use. J Wound Care. 2019 Oct 2;28(10):676-682. doi: 10.12968/jowc.2019.28.10.676. PMID: 31600104.
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