OBJECTIVE. Gel pads are commonly used by occupational therapists in acute care settings to reduce pressure on the coccyx and sacrum in supine. The purpose of this study was to determine the pressure-reducing capabilities of gel pads used in supine and the resultant potential impact on pressure ulcer management.
METHOD. A pressure-mapping system was used to measure interface pressures between the participant’s buttocks and the mattress, with and without the gel pad.
RESULTS. The gel pad did not have a significant effect on interface pressure for most participants. No obvious clinical indicators were identified.
CONCLUSION. Use of the gel pad is not recommended to decrease pressure in supine. Because potential adverse effects may result from using the gel pad in supine and no clinical indicators were identified to direct practice, use of the gel pad in supine is not recommended as an intervention for decreasing interface pressure.