COVID-19 and patient microclimate

We are all living in an unprecedented time due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends precautionary strategies to decrease the spread of the disease, which include social distancing, good hand hygiene, avoid touching one’s face and wearing a face covering.1 It is also essential to be cognizant of the early signs of COVID-19 in order to receive appropriate medical care. The incubation period of COVID-19 is 5 to 6 days, on average, but can be up to 14 days after exposure.2 Typical symptoms of COVID-19 include fever (83-99%), cough (59-82%), fatigue (44-70%) and shortness of breath (32-40%).2

A fever is the body’s means of protecting itself and is part of a normal immune response. Sweating is one of the symptoms of a fever. The World Health Organization recommends several preventative measures for the hospitalized and critically ill COVID-19 patient. One recommendation focuses on the prevention of pressure injuries by turning the patient every two hours to mitigate the effects of immobility.3 Another contributing factor in pressure injury development is the patient’s microclimate, which is the heat and moisture at the patient’s skin/support surface interface. Moisture at this interface can decrease the skin’s tolerance to pressure, friction and shear since moisture degrades collagen crosslinks, decreases skin stiffness and increases the coefficient of friction.4

Arjo’s Skin IQ™ Microclimate Manager (Skin IQ MCM) is superior in dissipating heat and moisture at the interface between the patient and a support surface. The top layer is a barrier to bacteria, virus and fungi. The Skin IQ MCM is a coverlet design that easily fits over any standard pressure redistribution surface.

Visit Arjo for further information on Skin IQ Microclimate Manager


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How to Protect Yourself & Others.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Interim Clinical Guidance for Management of Patients with Confirmed Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
  3. World Health Organization. Clinical management of severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) when COVID-19 disease is suspected: Interim guidance V 1.2. March 13, 2020.
  4. Reger SI, Ranganathan VK, Sahgal V. The Importance of The Micro-Environment of Support Surfaces in the Management of Pressure Ulcers. European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel. Satellite Symposium. New concepts in pressure ulcer care for today's patient: proceedings of the European Pressure Advisory Panel Satellite Symposium, Aberdeen, Scotland, May 2005. Oxford International Wound Healing Foundation; 2005.