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Foam Wheelchair Cushions Air-Filled Cushions GEL Wheelchair Cushions

Wheelchair Cushions

Wheelchair cushions are available in:
  • Foam, multi-density Foam is the most basic kind of cushion, usually about 2" thick. These "basic" cushions are good for wheelchair users that are at low risk of developing pressure sores.
  • Gel, usually a Gel pad or surface on top of a foam cushion. Gel-cushions are used for the prevention and treatment of skin breakdown.
  • Air, used for wound therapy, stage 2 or higher pressure ulcers. These "Air" cushions, such as the ROHO, offer customizable support and are available in a variety of cushion types.
Foam Wheelchair Cushions Air-Filled Cushions GEL Wheelchair Cushions
Foam
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Air-Filled
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Gel Wheelchair
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Top five issues for seated positioning:
  • positioning
  • balance
  • pressure management
  • function
  • comfort
Patient positioning is integral to both comfort and function. The seat cushion should provide a stable support base, offer safety to skeletal and muscular structures, and provide stability from which movement of trunk and limbs can originate.
The cushion surface must also assist in reducing the risk of tissue trauma. In the sitting position, the pelvis becomes the primary weight-bearing structure. There are many bony prominences on the surface of the pelvis; thus, there is an inherent risk of skin breakdown. Skin breakdown increases as clients display additional risk factors such as:
  • muscle atrophy
  • lack of independent movement (weight shifting)
  • heat and moisture buildup (incontinence)
  • lack of sensation (reducing "cues" for position change, reduced circulation)
  • repetitive movements causing shear forces
  • poor nutrition
Of course wheelchair cushions are for comfort, but for some people they are a necessity and choosing the right cushion for the job is paramount. Pressure Ulcers must be avoided. It is not uncommon for a Stage III or IV pressure ulcer to cost as much as $20,000 in wound therapy.
Stages of Pressure Sores:
  • Stage I: A reddened area on the skin that, when pressed, is "non-blanchable" (does not turn white). This indicates that a pressure ulcer is starting to develop.
  • Stage II: The skin blisters or forms an open sore. The area around the sore may be red and irritated.
  • Stage III: The skin breakdown now looks like a crater where there is damage to the tissue below the skin.
  • Stage IV: The pressure ulcer has become so deep that there is damage to the muscle and bone, and sometimes tendons and joints.

See full details on Pressure Ulcers, medical term: Decubitus ulcer

See more information on Wheelchair Cushion Types & Styles