National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel Support Surface Standards Initiate Available Through RESNA Protection Status
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by the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel

Washington, DC. – March 7, 2019 – On February 15, 2019, the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) approved a revision to the ANSI/RESNA SS-1-2014 standard. The revision includes 4 new test methods to evaluate important performance characteristics of support surfaces, including mattresses, mattress overlays, and integrated bed systems related to the prevention and treatment of pressure injuries. This National standard has been developed by the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) Support Surface Standards Initiate (S3I) and is available through RESNA (

Stakeholders including clinicians, manufacturers, and users can all benefit from the development of standardized methods to assess the characteristics of support surfaces. Detailed information provided by standardized testing will help clinicians to objectively match support surface's performance with the needs of individual users. Testing standards also assist manufacturers by guiding new product development and in the improvement of existing products. Sellers too, will benefit by being able to clearly describe and compare products from multiple manufacturers. Lastly, users will benefit by having a support surface that truly supports their needs.

These standards are intended to provide means of identifying and measuring clinically meaningful metrics for comparison.

ANSI/RESNA SS-1-2019 now consists of the following sections under the general title Support Surfaces:

  • Volume 1: Requirements and Test Methods for Full Body Support Surfaces
  • Section 1: Vocabulary
  • Section 2: Standard Protocol for Measuring Immersion In: Full Body Support Surfaces
  • Section 3: Standard Protocol for Measuring Heat and Water Vapor Dissipation Characteristics of
  • Full Body Support Surfaces – Body Analog Method
  • Section 4: Standard Protocol for Measuring Heat and Water Vapor Dissipation Characteristics of Full Body Support Surfaces – Sweating Guarded Hot Plate (SGHP) Method
  • Section 5: Support Surface Horizontal Stiffness Test
  • Section 6: Envelopment and Immersion – Hemispherical Indenter Test
  • Section 7: Envelopment with Dual Semispherical Indenter Test
  • Section 8: Standard Protocol for Measuring Water Vapor Dissipation Characteristics of Full Body Support Surfaces – Heated Water Bladder Method

About the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel
The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel is a multidisciplinary group of experts in pressure injury. The NPUAP serves as the authoritative voice for improved patient outcomes in pressure injury prevention and treatment through public policy, education and research. Contact NPUAP at

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.

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