I have been using the GMDN for some time now and have just recently completed changing all our old medical device equipment codes to GMDN codes in our AIMS database. As the GMDN is being used more and more we felt this was the correct way to go.
There are still quite a few medical devices without GMDN codes but you can request that the manufacturers apply to the GMDN for codes to be created for their devices. I currently use 5 old codes to group devices not on GMDN into a general purpose category until new GMDN codes are set up.
I agree that finding the correct codes can be quite tricky at first but after using the system for some time you soon get a feel for what your search criteria should be. In the case of you’re ‘air mattresses’ you should not use plurals in the search just ‘air mattress’. This will bring up a selection of devices from which you can pick the most appropriate nomenclature and code.
At times the nomenclature will not even contain any of the search words, for your example above it gives… Flotation therapy bed, adult ... as one of the options with the device description as shown below…
A mains electricity (AC-powered) bed designed to minimize pressure points on a patient's body by providing contact with as much of the body surface as possible, typically through a mattress that contains a large volume of constantly moving media, e.g., water, air, or mud that lifts the patient to simulate a floating effect. It is used in cases of decubitus ulcers or where a patient has little remaining body fat and the displacement of body weight is vital for treatment and/or comfort. It can also be used for the treatment badly burned patients and/or to aid circulation. The device may allow for the regulation of mattress temperature to enhance treatment. See also: Air-fluidized bed; Low-air-loss bed
As you can see at the end of the description it also gives alternatives to consider.
Despite what Geoff says this seems to be the way ahead as more and more countries and manufacturers are adopting the GMDN to name their medical devices.
I have found the people at the GMDN to very helpful in trying to trace codes when I have been stuck in finding the correct nomenclature in the past.
If you have any queries on finding other GMDN codes I would be only too happy to try and help you out if you email me.