Leg ulcers are a common and debilitating condition that can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor blood flow and endothelial dysfunction (1). Endothelial dysfunction refers to a decline in the function of the cells that line the blood vessels, which can lead to poor blood flow, increased risk of clotting, and ultimately, leg ulcers.
One potential solution for treating leg ulcers caused by blood flow impairments and
endothelial dysfunction is the use of active mattresses (2). These specialized mattresses are designed to prevent, treat, and relieve pressure ulcers (PUs) by providing intermittent contact pressure and relief (3,4).This helps to increase blood flow and improve endothelial function, which can
ultimately lead to the healing of leg ulcers.
A recentstudy published in the Journal of Wound Care aimed to investigate the
effectiveness of active mattresses in improving blood flow and endothelial
function in healthy individuals. The study recruited 10 healthy participants
and assessed various physiological parameters, including baseline skin
temperature, resting blood flow, and endothelial function, at baseline, after
eight weeks of sleeping on a Squirrel active mattress, and after an eight-week washout
The resultsof the study showed that after eight weeks of using a Squirrel Vestims mattress, resting
blood flow, post-occlusive reactive hyperaemia, and baseline skin temperature
at the hallux pulp increased by 336%, 197%, and 3.5ºC, respectively. These
increases were statistically significant and suggest that active mattress use
can improve endothelial function and blood flow in healthy individuals (5).
This study is particularly noteworthy because it demonstrates that the Squirrel Vestims mattress are
not only effective in improving blood flow and endothelial function, but they
also provide the added benefit of being a non-invasive and convenient treatment
Participants were able to sleep on the mattresses within their ownhomes, without the need for additional clinical intervention or medication. It is important to note, however, the leg ulcers are a serious condition and clinical guidance must be sought before attempting any form of clinical intervention.
1. Peters, A. J. E., et al. "Prevalence and risk factors for leg ulcers in the elderly: a population-based study." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, vol. 47, no. 4, 1999, pp. 408–414.
2. Lyder, B. G., et al. "A randomized, controlled trial of alternating pressure air mattress in the treatment of pressure ulcers." Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 282, no. 17, 1999, pp. 1658–1662.
3. Nix, M. J., et al. "The use of active mattresses in the prevention and treatment of pressure sores." Journal of Wound Care, vol. 9, no. 6, 2000, pp. 248–252.
4. Cullum, N., et al. "The effectiveness of active and static pressure-relieving devices in the prevention of pressure ulcers: a systematic review." The Lancet, vol. 354, no. 9193, 1999, pp. 1842–1846.
5. 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.