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Managing Microclimate for Pressure Ulcer Prevention

What is microclimate?
In relation to pressure ulcer development, microclimate is a term used to describe two aspects of the interface between the skin and a support surface – temperature (of the skin or the soft tissues) and humidity or skin surface moisture at the interface between the skin and the support surface.


Why is microclimate important?
In a recent study published in the Journal of Tissue Viability, Amit Gefen PhD. Dept. of Biomedical Engineering wrote, “There is increasing evidence that thermodynamic conditions within and around skin tissue strongly influence the susceptibility of skin to SPUs (Superficial Pressure Ulcers)...” Successful pressure ulcer prevention depends upon a complex balance between two sets of parameters — the external loads applied to the skin and soft tissues, and the intrinsic ability of the skin and soft tissues to withstand prolonged or excessive loading. If the intrinsic resilience of the skin and soft tissues deteriorates, pressure damage is more likely to occur. Hence, a full understanding of a patient’s conditions, and immediate environment, including anything that may cause the patient’s skin to increase in temperature or moisture should be considered.


The Open Cell Foam Design of Heelift® Brand Boots Clinically Proven to Be Cooler and Drier


To determine how effectively Heelift® Glide and Heelift® Suspension Boot help create a cooler, drier microclimate for improved pressure ulcer prevention, the boots were tested by two different third-party research groups. The first study was conducted by Evan Call’s team at Weber State University. A heated indenter, modified to release water vapor, was inserted into the Heelift® boots and microclimate was measured using temperature and humidity sensors. The handout below summarizes findings that correlate to pressure ulcer prevention. Download to review the results.


The second study was conducted at the North Carolina State College of Textiles Textile Protection and Comfort Center (T-PACC). This study used the North Carolina State University sweating foot manikin system. Visit our white paper page to download the white paper titled, “Why Open Cell Foam is the Best Material for a Heel Offloading Boot” to learn more about the results of that study as it relates to pressure ulcer prevention.

Handout summarizing studies that correlate control of microclimate for pressure ulcer prevention.
Download the handout "Studies Correlating Microclimate to the Materials and Design of Heel Offloading Boots

Why Heelift® Brand Boots Create a Cooler, Drier Microclimate


There are a few features of Heelift® Brand Boots that help create the desired cooler, drier microclimate that prevents pressure ulcer development. As the above cut-away shows, Heelift® completely offloads the heel, allowing heat and moisture to escape so long as the patient is turned regularly. Additionally, the ventilation holes further help the flow of heat and moisture.

Learn more about Heelift® Glide or Heelift® Classic Boot or contact us to learn more about microclimate and how Heelift® Brand Boots will help pressure ulcer prevention.

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