Support Surfaces

RESNA Standards Committee on Support Surfaces (SS)

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If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact Evan Call or Kristen Thurman for more information.


The next face-to-face meeting will be held April 20-21, 2017 in Station Park, Farmington Utah at the Weber State University Farmington Station Campus. Meetings are open to anyone; voting on documents requires membership. It is important to the work of the committee that we have participating members from various aspects of expertise in evaluating the characteristics of full body support surfaces. This includes manufacturers, users, clinicians, distributors, researchers, suppliers, and testing organizations. The committee is currently looking for users, distributors, and testing organizations. If you have any questions about the work of this committee or how to get involved, please contact Evan Call at for additional information.


Chair: Evan Call
EC Service, Inc.


Kristen ThurmanVice Chair: Kristen Thurman
Wellsense, Inc.


Rosalyn JordanSecretary: Rosalyn Jordan
Joerns Healthcare,Inc.


This work will impact persons that use hospital beds, manufacturers of hospital beds and support surface overlays, home healthcare companies that distribute this type of equipment, hospitals, long term care facilities and other entities that purchase and use this type of equipment, and insurance companies and government organizations that pay for this type of equipment.

Work Program

RESNA SS-1 Support Surfaces Volume 1: Requirements and Test Methods for Full Body Support Surfaces

Full body support surfaces play an integral role in any care plan for the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers. They can make a monumental difference in quality of life for any patient with limited mobility. Since no one full body support surface is best for all patients, a wide variety of surfaces, including mattresses, mattress overlays, and integrated bed systems are available in a broad array of materials. Choosing from this growing list of alternatives has become a daunting task for clinicians, care givers, and patients. Selecting from the available alternatives is further complicated by the lack of consistent information regarding full body support surface characteristics. 

Clinicians, manufacturers, vendors, and patients all stand to benefit from the development of standardized procedures to evaluate the characteristics of full body support surfaces. Detailed information provided by standardized testing will help clinicians to objectively match a full body support surface's characteristics with the needs of individual patients. Testing standards will also aid manufacturers by guiding new product development and in the redesign of existing products. Testing standards will promote quality assurance within the manufacturing process. Vendors too, will benefit by being able to clearly describe and compare products from multiple manufacturers. Lastly, patients will benefit by having a full body support surface that truly supports their needs.

RESNA SS Volumes 1 consist 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 moisture dissipation characteristics of full body support surfaces – sweating guarded hot plate (SGHP) method

The following sections are also on the work program:

  • Section 5: Sliding Resistance
  • Section 6: Product Life
  • Section 7: Disinfection

ISO Related Activities

ISO / TC 173 Assistive products for persons with disability / SC 1 Wheelchairs