A recent study at the University of Toronto determined that better mattresses can be cost-effective for hospitals because they will prevent health problems such as pressure ulcers (bedsores) in the elderly. The study determined that slightly more expensive mattresses in ERs would prevent thousands of cases of bedsores a year and save institutions millions of dollars in the long run. Researchers believe the same principles apply to other facilities such as nursing homes. Bedsores are caused by pressure, particularly in areas of the body with moving joints or bony areas. 95% of bedsores develop below the waist, primarily on the hips, lower back and tail bone. The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel has issued the following list of stages of bedsores: Stage 1: Nonblanchable erythema of intact skin — the skin is intact but has redness. This stage may not be detectable but indicates a risk of developing more serious sores.
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