Sunrise Medical Quickie Tilt in Space Wheelchairs

Happy Friday Everyone! It’s snowing here in Vancouver and it’s the weekend before Christmas! Although it makes commuting a bit of a challenge in this city, I’m kind of hoping some of it will stick around over the holiday. Today, I thought I would post on the new Quickie tilt-in-space manual wheelchair, the SR 45. This wheelchair has been out for about a year or so and has been marketed as a lower end version of the Quickie Iris, which is one of the best tilt-in-space manual wheelchairs available on the market. The Quickie Iris is a great base to work with as there is so much adjustability, flexibility and real estate on the frame, which makes it easier to mount  seating components and is also great for setting up full custom fabricated seating systems.

As for the the SR45, this wheelchair replaced the Tilt FX , which had a similar rotation in space mechanism  as the Iris but was not the same quality as their “Intelligent Rotation in Space Technology”. This technology has now been added to the SR 45 as well as many more features that are similar to the Iris. Despite the marked improvements made on the SR 45 model and the added “Intelligent Rotation in Space Technology” on this model, Sunrise has also decided to  price this model in close range to the PDG Fuze T5o, the Orion II or even the Invacare Concept 45. So now the question is, what’s the difference between these two wheelchairs? Since the SR45 is so much cheaper than the Iris, but has the same tilt technology and very similar features, funders may lean towards a more economical model. In any case, here is a quick break down of the differences:

QUICKIE SR 45:

–  0-45 degrees of tilt (no other ranges available and cannot add anterior tilt for transfers or eating/swallowing positioning)

Weight capacity is 265 lbs, with no heavy duty option, max width is also 20 inches.

75 degree front rigging, no available contracture hangers (might be an issue for clients with very tight hamstrings)

Lowest seat-to-floor height is 14 inches (keep in mind for clients who need a specific seat-to-floor height for standing transfers or access issues)

-Limited colour selection

-Base is made in Mexico and is made of  steel (Although the weight differences are minimal, this model is likely a slight be heavier)

-Base price is $2795.00

QUICKIE Iris:

Free growth kit (for width growth) within the first 5 years

Dynamic back option available on this model only

Variety of tilt ranges, with the standard range being 0-55 degrees.

Weight capacity is 250 lbs, also has a heavy duty option with a weight capacity of 350 lbs 

Various front rigging options

Lowest seat to floor height is 12.5 inches

-Larger colour selection

-Base is made in California and is aluminum

-Base price is $4075.00

Overall, the improvements made on the SR45 are great. Although it may make justifying an Iris a bit more difficult, it is a great economical option in comparison to other available models on the market.  I hope this breakdown is helpful for all of you. I would like to thank Carla Carrico from Motion Specialties, Jeff Ducklow from Ability Health Care and Tara from Sunrise Medical for helping me break down the differences between these two wheelchairs.

Also, FYI, Access is hosting an Introduction to Assessment and Management of Eating, Drinking and Swallowing Disorders: A Clinical Approach workshop on February 28th and March 1st. Check out the Access website for more information if you are interested!

If you are off next week, I hope you have a wonderful holiday! Thanks for checking in.

Seating is Super!

Cheryl

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Custom Seating Techniques in a Nutshell!

Hello Everyone. Sorry for the late post this week. It has been a super busy week. On November 29th and 30th, Access Community Therapists Ltd. held another “Seating and Positioning in the Community: Practical Applications” workshop at Motion Specialties. It was a great 2 days and once again, we thank our client educators for coming in to help with the course. Check out some fun photos below! Right after the course, I made a trip up North to Smithers, Kitimat and Terrace for 4 days. It was a busy trip in -20 degree weather with windchill! Luckily, I was mostly inside completing assessments and equipment specs and trials…with the exception of one outdoor power wheelchair trial BRRRRR!

After my trip, I came back to an in-house workshop for the Access team. The workshop was led by our seating gurus Jo-Anne Chisholm and Joanne Yip. At this workshop we had a chance to review seating implications for clients with Developmental Disabilities (also termed Intellectual Disabilities) and reviewed different custom seating fabrication techniques. The course was held at Ability Health Care and it was a fab day! Here is a summary and review of the different custom fabrication techniques:

FOAM IN BOX

Foam-in-Box is a custom seating fabrication technique where moulding bags are used to capture the shape of a client in the desired position. The moulding bags are filled with beads and feel a lot like a bean bag chair. The moulding bags are set up in a custom cut box, which will eventually become the frame of the seating system (i.e. seat pan, backrest board as well as the pelvic laterals and trunk laterals). Once the client is seated in the system, the moulding bags are held and manipulated into the desired position around the client. Once everything is in place, the seating technician pumps the air out of the bag to capture the shape of the client. Once a good capture has been taken and the client is transferred out of the system and the technician takes the molding bag and plasters and casts the shape of the bag. Once the cast is set and hardens, it is taken off of the bag and filled with liquid foam that also eventually hardens. This is what makes the insert for the seat. Trimming and modifying of the insert is then done to create a streamlined and functional system. Foam-in-box can be used to create cushions and backrest or entire systems. This technique allows a clinician to accommodate a client’s complex posture and can also be used to correct a client’s posture. Also, the moulding bags have wings on the sides that are used to mould custom contoured/shaped laterals. Although this technique can accommodate for very complex spinal curvatures, foam-in-place is another custom fabrication technique that can be more suitable for accommodating very pronounced spinal curvatures and body contours.

FOAM IN PLACE

Foam-in-place is a technique that involves pouring liquid foam behind a client to capture the shape of a client’s back. This is a great technique for accommodating complex curvatures of the spine. The photos below show the fabrication process with our volunteer model, Trevor! Foam-in-place inserts can be mounted onto a custom cut wood board, a custom curved/moulded plastic shell (as seen in demo), or even onto a commercial backrest shell. Spot pours can also be done to fill in contours on an existing backrest, or be done to create custom shaped laterals. Keep in mind that when fabricating this sort of system, it is important to have the other seating components in place as you will be capturing the client in the position that you hold/support them in. Also, as the foam grows, it can sometimes push a client into an undesired position such as an increased lordosis. In these cases, abdominal supports can be helpful during the pour.

CARVED FOAM

Carved foam seating is a great technique that offers a lot of angular support. Carved foam seating can incorporate custom sized ischial blocks, obliquity build-ups, leg troughing and back contouring. Carved foam systems can appear quite simple, but offer a high degree of control and correction. These systems can also be made to include pressure relieving products such as Roho insert or gel overlays (such as Action or Blake Medical gel overlays).

CUSTOM PLASTIC BACKRESTS

Ability Health Care offers 2 types of plastic backrests. They have a lightweight custom moulded backrest, which is fabricated by casting the client’s back. They also have a new backrest where they create a custom shell by designing the size and shape create a custom contour. Ability formerly used to make their lightweight version from ABS, however, they were finding that the material wasn’t as durable as they had anticipated. They have now started using an aerospace plastic that is much more durable, but is also still light weight. This is ideal for manual wheelchair users needing a higher degree of contouring and support and has been commonly made for clients with spinal cord injury. When fabricating this backrest, it is ideal that the client be seated on the cushion that they will be using with this backrest to ensure that the contours are accurate.  Ability Health Care has also developed a tilt table that allows a client to be positioned at the desired level of dump during the casting process. Pretty neat!

Below are some pictures of the custom contoured backrest. This backrest is made by a CNC machine that cuts out a custom designed shape that is drawn by the technician. Once the shape of the shell is cut out, the backrest is curved to the appropriate level of contour needed for the client and foam is glued onto the shell. Foam-in-place can also be used to create the insert if more custom contouring is needed. This backrest is not light, but is quite durable and would be ideal for a client who is quite hard on their equipment.

MORE CUSTOM ITEMS

In addition to the custom seating techniques, Ability Health Care can also fabricate custom commodes, custom toilet seats, alternate positioning devices and custom power wheelchair drive controls. In the photo below, Jeff Ducklow fabricated a custom “wafer board”, which was a drive control that was discontinued, but still needed by a client. Jeff was able to fabricate a system using an ABS plate with buddy buttons. A really nice looking drive control that will definitely work well for his client. Also, Ability informed us that Helio is now making depth adjustable backcanes, which is a great feature for clients needing custom seating components.

A special thanks to Russ, Chad, Jeff, Trevor and Mariska  at Ability Health Care for hosting the Access team!

Thanks for checking in today and for reading is rather long post!

Seating is Super!

Cheryl