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Orthopedic Pressure Injuries: Are You Putting Extra Pressure on Your Patients?

  • by Match Grade Medical
  • News
  • Jan 5, 2023
Peg Pressure Info

Pressure injury is a morbid postoperative complication that we are all trying to avoid. It seems obvious that pressure injury is caused by “pressure”, and specifically, concentrated pressure points that impair adequate tissue perfusion to meet the metabolic needs of the soft tissue.


Force and pressure are not the same. the force required to support a patient does not change. It is a function of weight and position. Pressure is different.


Pressure is commonly measured in PSI, or pounds per square inch. The force applied is distributed by the contact area. The larger the area, the lower the pressure. This means that doubling the surface area cuts the pressure in half.


We commonly approach this through the addition of padding. Urethane foam and viscoelastic polymer pads are commonly used to distribute pressure and reduce the concentration by providing a larger surface for support. However, padding can do nothing if it is not backed by a broad bearing surface.


Traditional cylindrical pegs have a very small contact surface and can generate extremely high pressure against the patient. The solution is to provide a broad smooth surface with enough area to distribute the force into a manageable amount of pressure.


Match Grade Medical Broadhead Pegs are unique in surgical positioning. Their patent pending design provides an over 3 inch wide surface in contrast to the approximately ½ inch wide effective surface of a round peg. This means that a round peg will apply more than 6x the pressure against the patient.


If you are seeing localized reddened areas after a procedure when the round pegs are removed, you know that blood perfusion has been impaired at some level. This may not always result in a postoperative complication, but it is an indicator that cannot be ignored.


Your patients deserve the best care that can be provided, and Match Grade Medical may be able to help you provide that care.

Broadhead Pegboard Pads 2
Broadhead Pegboard Pads