Affordable Wheelchair Cushions and Seating Cushions with Australian Invention
Two Victorians have found excellent pain relief through the use of the newly introduced Australian PostureLITE wheelchair and seating cushions. Jennifer Fordham has suffered from multiple sclerosis for more than twenty years and PostureLITE cushions have significantly reduced the pain and discomfort resulting from long periods in a wheelchair. Stuart Skinner found relief with PostureLITE cushions and can now sleep for several hours at a time in a sitting position.
PostureLITE Wheelchair seating technology is an innovative concept which allows self-inflating cushions to be adjusted to satisfy personal needs at the push of a button. They address a full range of pressure redistribution and positioning needs and offer a low cost, quality alternative that is specially tailored to satisfy low to medium risk situations.
- Avoids pressure points
- Avoids cutting off circulation underneath thigh, as the corner slightly tapers down at your adjustment
- Unique Self-inflating design. When you deflate the cushion to suit your comfort level it will mould to your seating position for ultimate support and comfort (see picture above)
- 2 year warranty
- Washable surface
- Dimensions: 42 x 44 x 5cm
Selecting the correct wheelchair cushion for a client is always a personal matter as we try to match the cushion to the person's body characteristics such as weight, shape, disability and level of risk. And, although price should not unduly influence the choice, price can become a real concern where the cost of the cushion is to be borne wholly or partly by the client.
There is no doubt that clients who are at a high risk of developing ischaemic ulcers are well catered for by RoHo type cushions and alternating pressure relief systems. There is also a phalanx of competitor cushions vying for business at the lower end of the high risk range and prices can vary between $450.00 and $1,200.00, usually depending upon the construction and/or brand name. At the opposite end of the scale, low risk clients are similarly offered many choices with prices ranging from about $50.00, upwards. But, for the medium risk client who finds them self in the broad band between the high end of low risk and the high end of medium risk, there seems to be very little choice. They are either forced to manage with a low risk cushion or to pay for a more expensive model that is engineered beyond their actual requirements.
A high proportion of our clients fit into the medium risk range and serious consideration might well be given to Australian PostureLITE cushions which are very competitively priced. They offer an affordable alternative for both medium and low risk clients and compare extremely well, in terms of pressure care and overall performance, to imported cushions in the $450.00 plus price range.
Developed and manufactured in Sydney by Comfort Concepts Pty. Ltd. as part of a range of self-inflating cushions and supports, PostureLITE wheelchair and seating cushions comprise an inner cell or cells, which are upholstered in two-way stretch fabrics with a non-skid base. Inner cells are manufactured with a top quality heavy duty, fire resistant polyurethane foam, encased in reinforced PVC. Shape and thickness are easily adjusted to suit individual needs by admitting or expelling air through a specially designed press-button pneumatic valve and the product readily moulds to the body's contours. The use of multiple inner cells, in at least four configurations, provides variable options that can be tailored to provide customised support and positioning for people with spinal or pelvic distortion. They are lightweight and readily mould to the user's individual body contours, providing excellent weight distribution and pressure reduction. Outer covers may be removed for dry cleaning.
Premier cushions are currently available in 410mm X 410mm and 460mm X 410mm and it is proposed that the range will be expanded to 8 sizes in single cell and dual cell configurations. The range will also include cushions with polyurethane water proof / vapour permeable covers.
Jennifer has suffered from multiple sclerosis for more than twenty years and she has not been able to walk or stand for the last ten years. She uses PostureLITE wheelchair and seating cushions below her buttocks and behind her back while confined to her wheelchair during the day.
According to Jennifer's husband, Bruce, "Jennifer has used the PostureLITE cushions for two years and they have significantly reduced the pain and discomfort resulting from long periods in a wheelchair. The relief provided by PostureLITE cushions enables her to spend longer periods in her chair in comfort." Bruce is also impressed with the durability of the cushions and said, "The cushions have needed a minimum amount of maintenance. The coverings are easily removed, washed, dried and replaced. Occasionally the air pressure needs checking but rarely needs adjustment. No significant amount of wear is apparent after two years of continuous use."
Stuart Skinner has been afflicted by chronic pain in his hands, back, legs and feet for 25 years and the pains arise from two principal sources. Firstly from Osteo Arthritis in his neck, lumbar spine, hips and feet, with serious distortion of his feet. Secondly from Dercum's Disease which generates multiple lipomas and angiolipomas in many areas of his body. They are particularly troublesome in his flanks, lower back and buttocks.
He cannot lie prone to sleep in his bed as it generates pain that breaks through the analgesic protection. He sits up in bed to sleep and, after many trials, he now relies on a single cell PostureLITE cushion under his buttocks with a dual cell PostureLITE cushion positioned behind his lumbar spine and shaped to stabilize his shoulder blades.
According to Stuart, this combination provides the support that his back needs. "The cushion that I sit on is shaped to maximise the contact area with my buttocks. This reduces the area pressure on the tissue of my buttocks. The pain is minimised, comfort is maximised, and I can sleep for several hours at a time," he said.
Besides satisfying his immediate needs in terms of pain relief, Stuart has also developed a professional interest in PostureLITE adjustable cushions. Now aged 78 years, Stuart is a retired psychologist who devised and initiated the course for Ergonomics in Occupational Therapy within the Lincoln Institute of the Health Sciences, then located in Carlton.
The pressure distribution characteristics of PostureLITE cushions were independently examined by the UNSW Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, which performed a comparative analysis using the Xsensor pressure mapping system on a range of seating cushions, specifically designed for use in wheelchairs. Cumulative frequency was plotted against pressure, providing a ready comparison between the various cushions for individual volunteers and, in the opinion of the researchers, the PostureLITE cushions were found to perform extremely well and achieved the criterion set in the investigation.
A pressure threshold of 168mmHg was adopted in the study as it was considered to be marginally below the pressure that may cause capillaries in the skin to close off. Isolated peak pressures that might be attributable to random errors, were removed by imposing a criterion of 4 or more pixels over 168mmHg and comparison between cushions was made at 99.6% cumulative frequency point. Accordingly, cushions with fewer than 4 pixels above 168mmHg of pressure were considered to be desirable in the study and suitable for use in long-term seating.
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