Measuring the Physiological Comfort of Bandages
In order to be included in the Medical Service’s Medical Aids Directory, bandages and orthotic pads must comply, among other things, with minimum requirements for the physiological comfort of the wearer. The same applies to compression stockings and other medical textile products which are to display the “Physiological comfort mark” and the quality label issued by the Hohenstein Institute in Bönnigheim.
The critical factors for physiological comfort (i.e. the microclimate between the skin and the textile) are mainly the thermal insulation properties of the materials used and their ability to transport perspiration. When the product is in use, these two properties are often greatly affected by the material stretching as the body moves. This is why, in future, before testing the physiological comfort of bandages or compression stockings, the Hohenstein Institute will first calculate the actual (practical) stretching to which the article is subjected in use.
The same measuring process is used as when the compression characteristics (pressure and pressure patterns) are worked out in order to attain and retain approval for the Medical Aids Directory, in accordance with the RAL Quality Certification Mark 387 (RAL-GZ 387). During subsequent measuring of resistance to heat and water vapor permeability, in order to calculate the thermal insulation and breathability characteristics, the materials are subjected to that degree of stretching. This means that regardless of the type of fiber or the structure of the fabric, the test results are comparable and reproducible at any time, and these contribute to the physiological comfort mark of from 1 (very good) to 4 (adequate).
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