The aim of the project is to prevent tissue injuries, e.g. pressure and bed sores, by optimising the design of body tight external supports, such as prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs.
PEOPLE: PrEvention Of Pressure uLcErs and deep tissue injury by optimization of body tight external supports
Project duration: October 2014 - October 2017
Participating companies: HotSwap, Otto Bock Scandinavia, Össur Nordic
– External supports, such as prostheses, orthoses and wheelchairs are there to support the body. Unfortunately, they also tend to cause more or less pain, says project leader Kent Salomonsson, School of Engineering, Jönköping University.
The transmission of force between the body and the support affects the human tissues, and may in the long run cause tissue injuries. Pressure ulcers, bedsores and sitting sores may be difficult to treat and may also get life threatening consequences. Even a small sore on a foot may eventually necessitate amputation,
Old age and poor blood circulation are factors that cause an increased risk of contracting pressure ulcers and tissue injuries, but healthy people as well may be affected by pressure ulcers when their tissues are subjected to strain. An example of an every-day problem is foot blisters.
– In this project we will investigate the causes of shallow and deep tissue injuries together with the School of Health and Welfare at Jönköping University. One of our goals is to create a better understanding for how soft-tissue injuries develop. Another goal is to develop the design of support products so that they will be competitive and sustainable. By an optimized design adapted to each specific individual the development of severe tissue injuries may be prevented and thereby the suffering may be minimised, explains Kent Salomonsson.
Besides the reduced suffering for the individual there are synergy effects. For example the social costs are reduced when people do not need adjustments of their supports repeatedly and when the hospitalisation times decrease.
In the research project, a combination of virtual and physical tools will be developed to enable early detection of risk patients and thereby prevent the development of tissue injuries.
The project is characterised by a close collaboration between the partners. The outcome of the project will provide leading Swedish med-care industries with extended knowledge about the underlying factors behind pressure ulcers and deep tissue injuries. As a consequence the Swedish companies can continue to be competitive on the international arena.
Kent Salomonsson, project leader
Content updated 2016-11-23