Foam in Medical Scenarios
How is Foam Used for Medical Purposes?
The uses of foam are broad and varied, and it's a material used in many different environments, from homes to businesses and even the medical field. Just as with any other use of foam, there are all kinds of types, thicknesses and densities used to help people with various ailments and medical issues. For example, applications range from earplugs to protect ears against noise to innersoles for shoes to slings for broken legs or arms. It's also used to protect against pressure points, such as doughnut cushions to sit on, neck braces, orthotic insoles, memory foam wedges and pillows.
Foam in the hospital setting - When it comes to hospital use, it's a closed-cell polyethylene foam that is leading the rankings. It's a non-porous type of foam, so nurses can easily wipe it down as it won't absorb fluids. Another benefit of this type of foam is that it's non-slip, so you can rely on it when it comes to keeping people safer and their bodies in the same position. This is a foam that is typically used for x-ray examinations.
This foam is made into all kinds of shapes to help to keep parts of the body in position for the x-ray to be taken—for example, skull pads, the lumbar spine supports, baby immobiliser moulds, and lateral knee pads.
To be transferred to the x-ray room, a patient will travel either on a hospital bed or in a wheelchair. Again foam plays a significant part in providing comfort for the patient with seat padding and a mattress.
Foam in mobility aids can endure heavy use and therefore need to be of high quality. In these situations, it's typical that the foam used is a high-density type of foam known as closed-cell polyethene or reconstituted foam in some cases. In addition, the foam needs to be sanitary for heavy use, which is why closed-cell polyethene is ideal.
Another use of foam in medical settings is that of foam used for examination beds. Patients are required to lie on the bed as the doctor looks them over, and again this foam needs to be high quality and be able to take the weight of even the heaviest of people. The foam is made of anti-bacterial properties, which closed-cell foam is perfect.
Uses of foam for medical disorders at home - Those who suffer from disorders such as lupus, restless leg syndrome, cancer, muscular dystrophy, rheumatism, and fibromyalgia can all benefit from sleeping on a memory foam mattress. With fibromyalgia, a person can suffer from many muscular and joint aches that are worse at night. This can feel like flu and can mean that those who suffer from this can sleep poorly.
Although fibromyalgia is like arthritis, it is slightly different in that it can cause a burning sensation in tissue without any joint swelling. Most people with this disorder can have trouble sleeping even if they have rheumatism during the day. The trouble with being in pain at night is that people don't get a whole night's sleep and therefore don't feel rested, even after eight or nine hours in bed.
Although some people may take to pain killers, it's not good for the blood to be saturated with those chemicals. However, a memory foam mattress can give relief. Whether it's a full mattress or a foam mattress topper, this will make a difference and has been proven to help. Another way to address this is to have a regular massage to increase blood flow and reduce lactic acid.
Other foam medical accessories - Many other items made of foam may not immediately come to mind but can make the difference for those looking for relief in pain or discomfort.
Earplugs - these can be moulded to fit into the ear to reduce noise levels.
Physiotherapy ball – typically used by those who have had surgery or have suffered a stroke. Excellent for strengthening hands and wrists.
Foam border dressings – protect the wound by providing some cushioning around the edge of a plaster.
Foam rollers – for massaging the legs and back. Can help with posture and stretching.
As you can see, there are so many uses of foam for medicine. If you stop and think for a moment, what would life be like without foam? It's not a pretty sight. It would be a world that is hard and uncomfortable.
Most people do not give foam enough credit as it's not obvious what a difference it makes to our lives. The foam provides life with soft and comfortable parts that we can all enjoy and benefit from.
If you require foam for any medical applications, contact our friendly team today.