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APCER 5009

Support surfaces: Foam mattresses and foam overlay mattresses

To meet the needs of health care establishments in the prevention of pressure ulcers, APCER developed the product specification APCER 5009 - Support Surfaces: Foam mattresses and foam overlay mattresses.

Pressure ulcers are a recurring problem of public health and are an indicator of the quality of care. It is estimated that 95% of these lesions are preventable. Health care professionals and the scientific community recognize that the use of mattresses with a pressure redistributing surface decreases the likelihood of pressure ulcers development. Prevention of pressure ulcers is a challenge, and the cost of their treatment is superior to the cost of their prevention.

The foam mattresses and overlay foam mattresses specified in APCER 5009 have characteristics that contribute to improve the comfort, the safety and to prevent risks associated to the emergence of diseases. They are composed of a removable coating that covers one or more fillers in flexible polyurethane foam. The performance of the foam can contribute to the prevention of pressure ulcers.

The APCER 5009 specification distinguishes the support surface into four classes according to the type of constituent foam: Class I - Conventional Foam Mattress, Class II – High Resilience Foam Mattress, Class III – Viscoelastic Foam Mattress, and Class III A – Overlay Mattress of Viscoelastic Foam, and defines the requirements of the product constituents (polyurethane and viscoelastic foams and the coating). It also defines the performance requirements of the final product (assessment of the ignitability and performance of the viscoelastic foam mattress when submitted to the test of distribution of pressures). The specification also defines the test plan for internal production control and external control tests to be performed by APCER, the requirements of the management system and of the production process to be implemented by the manufacturer, and the minimum amount of information to be contained in the instructions for use.

The cycle of certification is of 5 years (certificate validity), after which a recertification audit, which content is equal to a certification audit, will be performed. In all audits, the audit team assesses compliance with the requirements defined in APCER 5009.

The product certification APCER 5009 - Support Surfaces: Foam mattresses and foam overlay mattresses, intends to introduce a differentiating factor in the market by harmonizing and increasing the essential requirements of product quality, in addition to the applicable under the CE marking. APCER 5009 aims to create mechanisms to ensure that such products are consistently produced and supplied in accordance with the defined requirements.


The main benefits of the implementation and subsequent certification in accordance with this benchmark include:

Improving the ability to consistently deliver products and services that satisfy both the customers’ needs and the applicable statutory and regulatory requirements;

Gearing the organization’s focus towards increasing customer satisfaction;

Retaining and attracting new customers;

Handling risks and opportunities;

Access to new markets;

Increased confidence in the product’s design, planning and production processes and/or delivery of the service;

Greater prominence and image improvement in the market and wider society.

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