Effects of Compressive Loading Regimens on Tissue Viability
The peak pressures and the pressure gradients, present at the interface between the soft tissues and patient support, are considered to be one of the primary initiating factors in tissue breakdown. These interface pressures are transmitted through the soft tissues, establishing interstitial stresses and strains, which may be sufficient to impair the integrity of the local blood supply and lymphatic circulation. If the interface pressure is maintained then cell necrosis will follow, leading to tissue breakdown and the development of pressure sores. The mechanical nature of the soft tissues will undoubtedly influence the breakdown process. Hence, areas with minimal soft-tissue covering over bony prominences are more susceptible to breakdown than is an area with significant subcutaneous tissue and reduced mechanical stiffness.
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