Heels are the second most common site for pressure ulcers, second only to the sacrum. By virtue of its thinly padded surface, relatively poor blood supply, and difficult anatomical design for offloading, the heel is especially vulnerable to tissue damage. Heel ulcers are also difficult to heal, due to these same reasons.
In order to help to reduce the incidence of heel breakdown, all Geo-Mattress and PressureGuard products are designed with a Heel Slope. The foot end of the mattress slopes down to increase load on the calves and to decrease load on the heels. On average, heel pressures are reduced by about 27% with this design compared to flat designs.
A flat surface does not conform to the shape of the lower leg, especially behind the Achilles tendon.
Result: The heel must bear excess load, and skin will break down more easily.
The Heel Slope slightly lowers the heel, allowing the mattress to fill in the space behind the Achilles tendon.
Result: Pressure is distributed over the entire lower leg, reducing pressure on the heel.