Pro-TECT: Mattress overlay to prevent pressure ulcers

David Brienza, PhD Professor, Department of Rehabilitation
Department of Bioengineering

Alan Murdock, MD Surgeon, Trauma Surgery and Critical Care

Of the approximately 5 million ICU patients per year in the US, 320,000 will develop sacral pressure ulcers. Severe pressure ulcers may cost $70,000 per episode causing a $3.2 billion burden per year, which is not reimbursed by insurance. Current clinical practice guidelines recommend using support surfaces to reduce pressure, shear, and friction and to turn the patient every 2 hours. However, studies have shown a low compliance (37%) with repositioning in ICUs. PRO-TECT™ is a mattress overlay that incorporates targeted cooling of vulnerable soft tissue near bony prominences of the sacral area, for hospital ICU beds. This is aimed at mitigating and/or preventing pressure ulcers, reducing overall hospital & risk-management costs and improving staff efficiency. With the help of the Coulter funding, clinical trials will be conducted to demonstrate efficacy of PRO-TECT™.