Blue Chip Medical Products Inc.

Blue Chip Power-Pro VW Elite

As the population of bariatric patients increases, HME providers must offer solutions that deliver on many promises. Mattresses are a perfect case in point:

•    They must come in multiple widths to fit the various sizes of bariatric bed frames.
•    They must be durable enough to support and cushion overweight patients.
•    They must provide specialized support surfaces to reduce the occurrence of pressure wounds.

To address all those needs, Blue Chip Medical Products has unveiled its Power-Pro VW Elite, a variable width, bariatric, low air loss/alternating pressure mattress system.

First starters, in order to conform to the various widths used in bariatric beds, the Power-Pro VW Elite can scale in width to fit 37-, 42-, 48- and 54-inch bed frames. This makes it useful for both usage in facilities, as well as homecare environments, says Jim Acker, vice president of sales and marketing for Blue Chip. Better yet, it also means that providers don’t have to stock multiple mattresses, which consume storage space and overhead budget.

The mattress is comprised of 18 air cells divided into three sections that let the mattress scale to the different bed frame sizes. The scalable design still allows for the correct redistribution of air pressure and airflow.

In terms of durability the mattress supports up to 1,000 pounds and is constructed of thermal polyurethane (TPU), including its air cells. It also features a two-stage blower pump. The result is a mattress that won’t bottom out when bariatric patients sit up, and a blower that won’t burn out.

The Power-Pro VW Elite’s support surface also focuses on treatment of prevention of stage I through stage IV pressure ulcers, a key concern for bariatric patients, Acker says. To combat those sores, the mattress must include multiple features. “We don’t want to make just a support surface, we want to offer the whole gamut,” he says.

For starters, The Power-Pro VW elite incorporates moisture control, which Acker says is an important feature when it comes to the prevention of pressure ulcers, especially with bariatric patients. Those patients have a lot of adipose tissue, and that means more sweat and moisture, which can foster the development of sores. It also offers low-shear surface, as well as immersion and pressure control.

While wound care and prevention is important in the HME sector, it has become a particularly important consideration for some of Blue Chip’s institutional customers, such as hospitals. Besides the fact that no one wants to see bariatric patients suffer, Medicare coverage for wound care has become more stringent.

CMS will no longer be reimbursing for the treatment of wounds acquired in a care facility, since the care facility should prevent the wound in the first place. Acker says there is a good chance that CMS’s stance on in-house acquired wounds could roll over into nursing homes and other long-term care settings for bariatric patients.

For providers that offer bariatric products to not only home patients, but also those sorts of facilities, providing a mattress that goes to great lengths to prevent these wounds to long-term care facilities could be an excellent opportunity.

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