Pressure Mapping Day | Clonskeagh Hospital

Pressure Care

There is always an ongoing debate about what is the best pressure cushion on the market.  Is there really one cushion that offers the optimum solution for pressure relief for all?  In reality such a cushion doesn’t exist.  However, at Beechfield Healthcare our state-of-the-art pressure mapping technology now offers you the opportunity find the optimum cushions for your patients.

What is a pressure map?

A pressure map is a computerised tool for assessing pressure distribution. To use it, you first place the thin sensor mat on a seat, wheelchair or mattress. When your patient sits or lies on the mat, a computer screen displays a heat-map of pressure distribution. The hotter colours (oranges and reds) indicate areas of higher pressures, and the cooler colours (blues) indicate areas of lower pressures.


“To put the system to the test we invited OTs from Clonskeagh Hospital and surrounding areas to a pressure mapping day in early May.”

OTs were encouraged to bring along a variety of cushions that they would like to see mapped.

Test criteria

14 cushions were tested on the day by a variety of people. Then all cushions were tested on an Excel G7 Wheelchair using the same person for each mapping.

The Results

The mapping bought about great discussion on the findings for each cushion.  One of the most interesting points of note was that the most expensive cushions were not necessarily the best at offering pressure relief.  Also the perception that air cushions offer optimal pressure relief didn’t show through in the results.

While mapping the various cushions it promoted discussion on the benefits of proper positioning and ensuring that the wheelchair is set up properly for the patient before they are assessed for a pressure cushion. Tilt-in-Space wheelchairs were also seen as beneficial in helping with pressure relief.

“It was also remarked that the use of pressure mapping technology is especially useful in complex seating cases where it can be used to assist in configuring the optimum chair set-up as well as pressure cushion selection.”

Pressure mapping results for all cushions were delivered to attending OT’s who were able to award themselves CPD credits for the morning.

Beechfield Healthcare would like to extend huge thanks to Helen Lee, Senior OT at Clonskeagh Seating Clinic for co-ordinating this training event.

If you would like more information on results from the pressure mapping day or on seating, please contact or call us on 057 86 82304 or visit


Beechfield Healthcare is one of Ireland’s leading trusted providers of innovative, powerfully designed and technology driven assisted living products. We help people live an independent, safe, dignified and healthy life from birth right through to ageing well.


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