Happy Wednesday Everyone,
I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful weather this week. On May 6th and June 23rd, Invacare provided some super valuable inservices to the Access Team and local sales reps. Not only did we get an in depth overview of their new products, but also had a chance to learn more about programming. Power wheelchair programming jargon can be a bit confusing, to me anyways, so it was great having the opportunity to clarify what some of the language really means. A huge thank you to Jason Hrynyk for the inservice at Access and the invitation to the education day. Also, thank you to Cher Smith, OT who gave a great review of wheelchair and seating principles and programming tips at education day.
Jason brought us the Libra cushion and PSVF (posture seat visco foam) cushion for us to pressure map at the office. We used the X sensor pressure mapping system at this inservice to assess the cushions. The PSVF cushion is a really nice comfort cushion is mapped quite well as it provided good pressure redistribution as the foam allows you to submerge into it to achieve full contact with the buttocks and proximal femurs.
The Libra cushion is Invacare’s new cushion that has been designed to address skin breakdown. This is a nice stable cushion and is also quite light weight even with the gel pack at the back. From a pressure mapping perspective, when leaning side to side, peak pressures did appear, however, we do know that skin breakdown does not just occur from pressure alone. Invacare reports that this cushion has helped some clients heal their wounds. My guess is that this cushion provides a stable sitting surface and the gel at the back may be most suitable for clients who are at risk for developing wounds from either friction or shear. Just as a reminder:
Friction: Is repeating rubbing on a surface. This causes damage to the surface of the skin only
Shear: when unaligned forces push the body in one direction while another force pushes the body tissues in an opposing direction. This results in damage below the skin first.
Here is a video by KCI that describes these two concepts very well! Click here. These concepts are described in the first 2 minutes of this video.
If you get a chance to trial either of these cushions, we would love to hear your experiences!
Jason also brought us the e-motion wheels to trial. These are nice power assist wheels that are activated through the push rim. See this brochure for more information.
At the education day, Cher Smith and representatives from Invacare and ASL reviewed some very useful terms. Here are some programming definitions that will hopefully help when you need to adjust power wheelchair driving programming for your clients:
Joystick Programming Language:
Movement of the joystick:
- Deadband=The space in which the joystick can move before actually moving the wheelchair. (If the deadband is large then the client will need to move the joystick further away from centre to activate the driving of the wheelchair. If the deadband is short, then less movement away fron centre is required to start moving the wheelchair)
- Throw= How much the joystick movement is required to move the wheelchair to full speed. This can be adjusted to allow clients to reach full speed without pushing the joystick to the end of its range. Similarly, it can be adjusted so that a client needs to push the joystick to the end to reach full speed.
Force of Movement:
- Deflection= the amount of force required to move the joystick
Power Wheelchair Programming Language:
- Power: The amount of power a wheelchair has. This cannot be changed with programming.
- Torque: Can be better described as “acceleration”. Torque is essentially the amount of power required to accelerate. Acceleration can be adjusted with changes to the electronics to the maximum amount of power the wheelchair has.
One last thing that was shared at this education day was the Tecla Shield . This product is so cool. It’s a device that links tablets, other touch screen devices and computers to alternate access buttons, switches, or even wheelchair driving controls. So cool! Check it out!
Finally, here is a new and exciting innovation created by Nathan Buskell at Motion Specialties. It’s a Nylatron foot rigging post!!!! This doesn’t look that exciting from the photo, but this post is flexible. Yes, flexible! Nathan created this product using nylon plastic material called Nylatron. He designed it for clients who often break their front rigging from heavy use. This could be from constant stomping, high tone or even from hitting the front rigging and footplates on obstacles in the environment. What an amazing innovation! And to top it off, it looks nice! Not bulky at all! I was so excited!
That’s all for now folks. Thanks again for checking in. Seating is Super!