A comparison of air-cell and gel surgical table pads and an evaluation of the influence of pressure distribution and other factors on pressure injury prevention.


Guzman S(1), Allegretti AL(2), Kormos RL(3), Brienza DM(4).
Author information:
(1)University of Pittsburgh, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, 6425 Penn Ave, Suite 401, Pittsburgh, PA, 15206, USA. Electronic address: [Email]
(2)UT Health San Antonio, Department of Occupational Therapy, 7703 Floyd Curl Dr, San Antonio, TX, 78229, USA. Electronic address: [Email]
(3)University of Pittsburgh, Cardiothoracic Surgery, 802 Rough Hollow Drive, Austin, TX, 78734, USA. Electronic address: [Email]
(4)School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, School of Engineering, Dept of Bioengineering, 6425 Penn Ave, Suite 401, Pittsburgh, PA, 15206, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


Guidelines for pressure injury prevention consider the use of pressure-redistributing pads to prevent tissue deformation. However, limited research exists to assess the pressure distribution provided by the operating tables and the effectiveness of pressure-redistributing pads in preventing pressure injuries. In this study, we compared the pressure distribution properties of two surgical table pads and identified parameters influencing pressure injury outcomes after a lengthy surgical procedure. Twenty-seven patients undergoing left ventricular assist device implantation surgery participated in the study. Participants were randomly assigned to use either an air cell-based pad or a gel pad. Interface pressure was recorded during the surgery. We analyzed the effect of surgical table pad type, interface pressure distribution and pressure injury outcomes and analyzed what characteristics of the patients and the interface pressure are most influential for the development of pressure injuries. Comparing the interface pressure parameters between the air-cell group and the gel group, only the peak pressure index x time was significantly different (p < 0.05). We used univariate logistic regression analysis to identify significant predictors for the pressure injury outcome. The support surface was not significant. And, among patient characteristics, only age and BMI were significant (p ≤ 0.05). Among the interface pressure parameters, pressure density maxima, peak pressure index x time, and coefficient of variation were significant for pressure injury outcome (p ≤ 0.05). Peak pressure index, average pressure, and the surgery length were not statistically significant for pressure injury outcomes.