The air-fluidized bed has proved to be a useful adjunct in the care of extensively burned patients. In a population of immobilized and/or cachectic patients no cutaneous pressure ulceration developed during use of the bed and healing of decubiti occurred in over two thirds of the treated patients. Gauze-covered donor sites placed in contact with the bed's surface immediately postoperatively healed rapidly without complication. The tolerance of recent posterior skin grafts to constant contact with the bed surface facilitated care of the unhealed anterior surfaces while preventing avulsion of the posterior grafts. Important to the patient is the comfort of the bed and assumption of the supine rather than an uncomfortable and/or frequently changed position. Psychiatric changes were infrequent and appeared predictable. Enhanced evaporative water loss from open wounds occurs and severe dehydration was documented in a single patient and must be anticipated to avoid serious loss of body water.
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