Therapeutic wheelchair seat cushions and various wheelchair pads are featured here in numerous types and designs. A portable pressure relieving seat cushion may be made using air, gel or foam technologies, and here you'll find all three. Medical sitting cushions for wheelchairs are indispensable to those requiring them, and individuals not taking advantage of their various benefits are likely suffering needlessly.
Spend a little time going through the three sections of this category on foam, gel and air cushions to get a feel for how each performs. Whether the concern is positioning, balance, comfort or a pressure management function, we've got an easy-to-use, affordable solution. Some cushions are a combination of types such as the JAY Fusion Cushion that uses both gel and sculpted foam for superior pressure relief and skin protection.
In addition to comfort, a 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.
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.
Skin breakdown increases as clients display additional risk factors such as:
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
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.