Innovative mattress system gives back dignity to the bedridden

CaregiverThis isn’t the “green” column you’d expect. This focuses on something difficult to discuss – it presents an amazing product that gives dignity back to patients in home healthcare, hospitals and hospice.

Any caregiver that’s cared for an elderly loved one at home has experienced the stress and upset of seeing them suffer dealing with incontinence. The only products available to deal with this have been bedpans, disposable absorbent pads and adult diapers, which add humiliation to both patient and caregiver.

Lynn Stephens, an experienced RN and caregiver, has seen patients that were laying in their own waste but, because they were covered up, no one knew.

“It’s mind-blowing (the) primitive way we take care of them,” she says.

She realized a new type of mattress was needed.

The challenge, said her husband Greg, an entrepreneurial engineer, was threefold:

  1. You need a mattress hard enough it doesn’t collapse
  2. It has to be comfortable
  3. It has to be pressure reducing

Capstone mattress

After forming their company, Capstone, they brought their idea to Tempur-Pedic Medical Division.

Tempur-Pedic worked with the Stephens’ to create the Capstone Incontinence Relief System – a mattress system that keeps moisture away from the skin.

Tempur’s material and the Stephens’ design was the combination that created a medical supply breakthrough.

The Capstone mattress system can be placed on any hospital bed. Its specially designed, absorbent disposable pad is placed on the mattress. The attached plastic waste collection bag is then placed inside the mattress cavity. The patient’s fecal and urine waste are collected in the bottom of the plastic bag while the patient lies comfortably dry on top.

This is an important advancement for caregivers, especially in home healthcare.

Approximately 20% of home healthcare patients are incontinent or bed-ridden, Greg said. “That’s around 300,000 patients per year!”

The second top reason patients are taken from their homes and put into nursing homes is because of incontinence.

This system will protect their skin, make them comfortable and reduce their pressure ulcers.

“But the big factor here is that it helps the caregivers (too),” said Greg.

With the disposable pad and the pouch attached, the caregiver gently rolls the patient over, changes the pad, and they’re done, he said. “It can be done in 45 seconds or less,” Greg said.

Capstone's disposable pad keeps patients dry and comfortable

Capstone's disposable pad keeps patients dry and comfortable

What they’ve done with this mattress, said Rick Fontaine, Tempur–Pedic Medical Division’s Vice President of Business Development, is create a layer on the top that conforms to the person’s body so that they don’t get high pressure around the mattress opening.

The biggest challenge Tempur-Pedic had was designing a cover that could be welded and installed in a way that didn’t allow moisture to leak through the opening, Fontaine said.

“We’ve tried to eliminate those forces that cause skin break down due to pressure and incontinence,” he said.

This system will be beneficial in easing pressure wounds, especially in the area of the buttocks, which is very susceptible from fecal waste, he said.

“(This) product is simple and it works,” Greg said.

The Stephens have just crossed a critical hurdle with this product – getting a Medicare code approval.

The Stephens believe this product will help Medicare.

“Just the fact it can reduce the number of patients admitted to nursing homes will save Medicare money,” said Greg.

They don’t know how much of the cost Medicare will cover, but hope it will pay 80 percent of the almost $4,000 price, which includes the mattress, the bag and pouch and a package of 105 disposable mattress pads.

Those wanting to buy this breakthrough mattress system have 2 options. To purchase the product from a Medicare-approved vendor and get reimbursement, contact the Stephens directly to locate a vendor. Or simply purchase it from the website.

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