Acute Pressure Management

December 20, 2021
Patient Handling
  • Between 6.3 and 7.7 percent of surgical patients develop a pressure ulcer.
  • The average cost of treating one pressure ulcer is about $37,800, while the average malpractice suit runs at $250,000.

Protect Surgical Patients from Pressure Ulcers

The medical treatment of pressure ulcers will be met by reimbursement penalties if patients are readmitted to hospitals for related complications within 30 days of discharge. This underscores the importance of pressure management for individuals undergoing surgery.

Problems are expensive

Research shows that between 6.3 and 7.7 percent of surgical patients develop a pressure ulcer. Risk factors include improper or extreme positioning, inopportune skin moisture and being immobile for 2.5 hours. Pressure ulcers are an increased risk for patients who are older than 70 years, obese, diabetic, malnourished or habitual smokers. Those with a history of pressure ulcers are also at risk.

Ultimately, the average cost of treating one pressure ulcer is about $37,800, while the average malpractice suit runs at $250,000.

The right medical equipment and supplies can help

Fortunately, AliMed offers a wide range of support devices that can help prevent pressure ulcers among surgical patients. The key is to choose based on the relevant surgical positions, procedure being performed and the condition of the patient.

  • Supine position. Head donuts, arm board pads, gel tablepad overlays and heel cups protect the occiput, ulnar nerve, scapula and back, and heels, respectively.
  • Lithotomy position. In addition to having head donuts, arm board pads and tablepad overlays, surgeons can use padded boots to protect the popliteal space while the legs are raised in stirrups.
  • Lateral position. Horseshoe pads, knee crutch pads and heel protector pads cushion the ears and eyes, knees and heels, respectively. Additionally, prone/lateral positioners keep the spine aligned, and tablepad overlays protect the greater trochanter. Arm board pads and heel cups are also effective.
  • Prone position. Prone headrests, contoured arm board pads, chest rolls and padded arm boards protect the ocular and facial tissues, knees, clavicle and iliac crest, and arm nerves, respectively.
  • Trendelenburg position. Supine or lithotomy position equipment are appropriate while the surgical bed uses a head-down tilt ranging from 15 to 45 degrees. A toboggan can help keep the arms comfortably tucked at the sides.
  • Reverse Trendelenburg position. It is important to cushion the occiput and ulnar nerves, as well as the scapula and back, the latter of which can be done with the gel table pad. Meanwhile, chest rolls can protect the knees, while a padded footboard prevents sliding.
  • Fowler's position. Surgeons should use head donuts, gel table pads and heel protectors to shield the occiput, back and backs of knees, and feet and ankles, respectively. The ulnar nerves must also be cushioned.

AliGel Patient Positioners


AliGel Patient Positioners can be used for head stabilization and protection.


AliLite Positioning System


AliLite Positioning System 6 in 1 Prone Patient Positioner.


Azure Gel Positioners


Azure Gel Positioners have two independent layers that conform to the patient's body.


AliBlue Gel Positioners

AliBlue Gel Positioners provide premium pressure relief at an economical price.


Single Patient Use Foam Positioners

single-use positioners

Single Patient Use Foam Positioners reduce the risk of cross-contamination.



AliMed, Inc. is a manufacturer and distributor of medical supply products, and is not a medical authority. The contents contained in this article, including text, graphics, imagery, and other materials, are for informational and educational purposes only. AliMed does not provide or intend to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and the information contained here should not be treated as such. If you have questions about a specific medical condition or specific personal use of a medical device, always consult your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

This blog was created with the assistance of artificial intelligence. Although every effort has been made to present information that is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge, this content may contain omissions or errors. AliMed does not regularly update information or resources for this content and does not guarantee, make any warranties, and accepts no liability for the accuracy or completeness of the information presented.