Q. What does the term “ripple effect” mean in relation to an active mattress?

Active mattresses often use a series of air chambers that sequentially inflate and deflate to offload the interface pressures against skin tissue.  The modality is quite pronounced; so much so that active or dynamic mattresses were for a long time referred to as being ripple mattresses. In recent years, active mattresses have been used on profiling bed frames; often with the back rest raised only. Sometimes, the alternating motion of deep air cells would “ripple” the patient towards the footboard. This meant that the patient was then lifted back or sometimes pulled back into position. This would pose a risk of shear skin tissue damage and injury to the care team.

In response to this challenge; the Squirrel Medical™ design team created a 58 cell mattress known as the Squirrel Diamond. This patented and innovative system has been designed specifically to work with profiling adjustable beds. It cannot eliminate the ripple effect completely but it is significantly less than a traditional deep cell active mattress.