How does the Zephair Air-Alternating Mattress Work?

Air-alternating mattresses or active support surfaces have the ability to change their load distribution without direct patient contact. Pressure is redistributed through inflation and deflation of air baffles in sections so, where pressure is removed from one area it can be redistributed to other areas. 

Currently, air-alternating mattresses are the only form of active support surfaces on the market. Repositioning of patients is extremely important no matter the type of surface in order to prevent pressure injuries.

This article aims to explain the key features of the Zephair air-alternating mattress and a simple and clear guide for operator use.

Why choose the Zephair critical care powered mattress? 

Depending on the level of care that is required for your patient, you’ll likely be choosing a suitable support surface based off of the following points;

Pressure Injury Prevention is achieved by the Zephair's unique design which features a combination of Alternating Air and Static support. Air Alternating cells are distributed from the Head to Toe which ensures constant offload approximately every 12 minutes. The cells are covered by a thick layer of Airoform Memory Foam to create immersion and dispersion. The Base of the mattress has a thick layer of supportive foam which protects the cells as well as the patient in the event of extended periods of power outage. It has been designed with a Heel Slope region to minimise the risk of Pressure Injuries to a patient’s heels. Read more about other support surfaces that help with Pressure Injury Prevention here.

Compliance and Pain Management is achieved through a thick layer of Airoform Memory Foam providing a buffer between the cells and the patient's skin interface. Patients who are Palliative or in extreme pain or discomfort will benefit from barely feeling the offload as it occurs and instead experience a great deal of pain relief.

Mobility and Transfers is made easier with firm supportive sides in order to complete transfers in and out of the bed. The option of Static control will inflate all cells simultaneously and can assist patients' level of mobility/ movement in the bed. Patients who are using an electric bed will benefit from the hinge joints of the mattress which allow for full bed functionality. 

Infection Control Hygiene and Product Longevity (Value for Money) is achieved through the mattresses washable dual cover for infection control and the foams that are selected. These core foams are formulated with inherent anti-microbial protection of the highest performance standards for longevity and control of mold, mildew and bacteria which can often occur within untreated mattresses. This means that the life of the mattress is increased as it is the value for money proposition. Read what causes hospital mattresses to fail here. 

Patient Safety is considered with Hybrid foam and air alternation designed to prevent any possibility of the patient bottoming out on a hard bed base die to cells deflating from any cause. The Zephair will sound an alarm to indicate a lack of power or air leak and has side clips to enable the cord to safely fix to the bed minimising trip hazards.

Powered Mattress Operation in 4 Easy Steps

The Zephair critical care powered mattress has been designed for simple operation by all carers by following these four simple steps;

  1. Position the pump by hanging it on the foot end of your bed (It’s important to note that the pump mustn't be obstructed in anyway and is secured onto the bed frame)
  2. Remove the safety cap off the end of the air hose coming from the foot end of the mattress
  3. Plug the air hose into the pump, noting the orientation of grooves in the side of the plug (the mattress will not inflate and will alarm if this step has not been done correctly)
  4. Finally, plug the pump into a standard 240V power point and switch it on at the wall. Turn the pump on by switching the top left-hand switch on the front panel. Set the pump to either ‘Alternating’ air pressure (this inflates every 2nd cell and alternates between each cell to constantly shift pressure load) or ‘Static’ air pressure (this maintains even pressure in all air cells) - lower left hand switch. Turn the (kg) dial to the correct weight rating to suit the patient (for a softer surface turn the dial down in weight and for a firmer surface you can increase the weight)

Important information to note when using the Zephair Powered mattress

We have compiled a list of important factors to note about the operation of the critical care powered mattress.

  • If the mattress loses power, the unit will sound an alarm to notify staff. If the unit is unplugged from the wall before turning off on the control panel, this alarm will also sound. Switch the unit on and off again to turn off the alarm.
  • In case of an emergency requiring CPR, pull the yellow strap which will remove the two plugs and allow the air to flow quickly out of the mattress. To reset, simply plug these back in and replace the covering flap over the top again.
  • The mattress has a pressure reducing foam overlay above the air cells which ensures that the patient is protected in the event of any air loss. Air loss will only occur if the CPR release is accidently pulled or if the mattress were to lose power however, in the event of a power outage the mattress loses very little air even when switched off)

View this unique support surface design for yourself here.

Read what healthcare professionals are saying about the air-powered mattress here.


Want to know more about Zephair? Enquire now!