Like alternating pressure mattresses, low air loss mattresses use inflatable cells or bladders to treat and prevent bedsores. However, they operate on a different principle. Low Air Loss or True Low Air Loss mattresses use a blower-based pump. The blower can generate 1000-1700 liters of air per minute from the pump, circulating air through the mattress.
The cells on a low air loss mattress are punctured with tiny laser-cut holes that actually allow air to escape in miniscule amounts. These cells “float” the patient on a constant stream of air.
The result is that moisture and heat are dissipated, allowing the skin to “breathe” properly. Friction and shear are vastly reduced, preventing the breakdown of the skin and the formation of pressure ulcers.
Low air loss technology can be used in conjunction with alternating pressure cells for a customized approach to care.