CHPSO patient safety alert supplement—Air mattress settings change after being unplugged
November 18, 2010

This supplement to the original alert serves as a reminder to clinicians that they should always check and recalibrate air mattress settings to the patient’s settings when reconnecting. Mattresses, when unplugged, may revert to a default setting.Additionally, though not mentioned in the first alert, on occasion caregivers may use a mattress control unit for a new patient without remembering to change the settings that were used for the prior patient.

While the initial alert was from a hospital using Sizewise mattresses, many if not all manufacturers’ mattresses function in a similar manner and we expect that the same risks of improper use are present.

Sizewise has provided the following information to assist its customers.

  1. If loss of power occurs, an alert will sound, and a back-up battery will store patient settings for up to 5 minutes.
  2. If the master power switch is turned off, patient settings are not held in memory and default settings will resume when the power switch is turned back on. The specific default settings are 25mmHg for the standard product and 30 mmHg for the bariatric product, and a sampling rate of seven (7) times per second to maintain the default setting.
  3. Sizewise product control units manufactured starting in early 2010 now retain the most recent settings indefinitely, regardless of a power loss or if the main power switch is turned off.

The International Electrical Code is continually upgraded and improved upon, particularly in the area of hospital safety. Sizewise prides itself on being ahead of both required and voluntary changes to this code. The circuitry in the Pulsate Blower in question is one of the products that is being upgraded in real time this year, ahead of the IEC’s time line for implementation. Fully 75 percent of our product in the field has been upgraded. If you have units that need to be upgraded we are able to do that quickly and easily. We will proactively make sure your local reps help in that regard.

There are several ways to note the new upgrade. It is important to understand that this upgrade is more of a fail-safe and that existing units are by no means inoperable, or even sub-standard.

Here’s how to verify an upgraded unit:

  1. The previous product version has BOTH a side panel hard on-off switch and a single power push button on the front interface panel. The newest product does NOT have the front panel push-button interface for power.
  2. The newest blower units will have an ETL label on the back of the outside of blower case. Older units will not have this label at all.
  3. To further verify, the ETL label on the new units will have several identifiers:
  • The newest IEC code of IEC–60101–1–2.
  • A new amperage rating of 6.3 amps.

If you have any questions at all about the functioning of your Sizewise mattress and which control unit you have, please contact your local representative or call the Sizewise 24 hour support line at 800-814-9389.