The 32nd International Seating Symposium

Happy Wednesday Everyone,

Lindsay Alford and I presented for the first time at the conference. We were definitely a bit nervous at the beginning! Hopefully we didn’t scare anyone away at the beginning! To everyone who was able to make it, thanks so much for coming. Hopefully you found our presentation on Balancing Function and Posture in Wheelchair Seating helpful in your practice. My appologies for this very late post. I’ve been meaning to share all of these new innovations from the ISS for a while now. But my oh my is working with a baby, or should I say toddler, a whole other ball game. And to think, I only have 1 so far! In any case, here are some updates from the ISS back in March.

Ride designs debuted their new Soft Fit cover for their custom ride cushions. As you can see in the images, the regular spacer cover is one layer of spacer fabric, whereas the Soft Fit has 3 layers of the famous material. The image of the under side of the cover shows how they cut out a diamond shape section for the well of the cushion. That’s to ensure that the consumer still gets the off loading properties of the cushion under such a thick cover. This is a really nice option for those who find the cushion a bit hard but don’t want to lose the unique off loading qualities of the Ride.

Ride Designs also had their tall Ride Java backrest as well as their new Ride Java cushion on display. As you can see there are pronounced scapular cut outs on the backrest,which is definitely a nice feature. As for the cushion, this is a nice commercial option for clients who would benefit from off loading their boney prominences but don’t quite need the full custom option. I’ve already trialed this one with a few of my clients!

Now here is a really cool product made by Joerns Healthcare. At the exhibits, they had their Dolfin Fluid Immersion Simulator mattress and cushion available to see and trial. This system is based off of a system that was used to transport military dolfins. Yes, that’s right, Military dolfins! Apparently, in order to transport dolfins, they need a system that will support their bodies so that they won’t collapse when they aren’t submerged under water. They used this technology in this mattress and cushion as it therefore helps to prevent collapse of the tissues in order to prevent and heal wounds and pressure ulcers. These products are available for rent as well so feel free to contact Joerns for more information.

Seating Dynamics had quite a few neat products this year. Here are some images of their dynamic footrest, backrest and head rest. The headrest was quite interesting as it has the option of being set up with a single-axis or multi-axis movements. The mounting hardware also seemed quite strong. Head positioning and tone are so complex when it comes to positioning. I am very interested in trying this item when the right client comes around.

Here is another innovative product at the ISS. Stealth Products had the Tarta Ergonomic backrest available to trial. Although this product is not yet available in Canada, it is an interesting design that provides the user with midline guidance and support, but is flexible. The modular design allows this backrest to flex backwards and side to side with the user. It is super comfortable and you can definitely see the utility of this product. Definitely worth a try for the right client!

Here are the B-Braver handrims. These handrims have a Polyisoprene non slip grip at the top. But what is truly unique about these handrims is the shape. They are rounded at the top and flat at the bottom. When holding on to them , they fit very nicely in your hand. These handrims were created by Marco Pilotto, a gentleman with C6 Quadriplegia. I always find products created by consumers to be so special. Marco was such a pleasure to meet as well. Passionate about his product that has worked so well for him as well as for many others. Marco, it was so lovely to have met you! Good luck with this product, it’s definitely a good one!

Invacare debuted their TDX SP 2 power base at the ISS. Unfortunately, this power base is not yet available in Canada. But some exciting features about this base include the new joystick with switch box for access to all the power seating functions, the improved power recline with shear and the streamlined power elevating legrests. The power recline with shear is super nice in that the backrest essentially stays in place when the system goes into recline. This may seem simple, but it’s definitely not common in many other power bases. The reason why this is useful is that if you have trunk laterals or a custom backrest for example, if there is not enough shear, the backrest will move up out of place when the system moves into recline. Then the client looses contact with their back contours or their laterals get pushed into the axillas or even past their axillas. The legrests are also unique as many manufacturers are moving away from swing away elevating legrests. This can be an issue for clients who need the swing away for specific purposes. I just actually had a client who used the swing away function to move their feet out of the way from the sink pipes in their bathroom but still needed the power elevating legrest function.

On another note, Invacare wanted me to announce that they are now cleared (since 2015) to sell power mobility in Canada without restrictions. YAY! Congratulations Invacare. It has been a long road, with a lot of hard work. Definitely looking forward to trialing the new TDX when it comes out here.

Invacare also had their new Libra cushion on display. This is a really nice foam cushion with fluid gel overlay in the well of the cushion. The well is contoured to offer some offloading of the coccyx and ischial tuberosities. The gel is also new and meant to be maintenance free. This is a super nice light weight cushion with some great pressure relieving properties. Definitely going to bring this one out for a trial and pressure mapping session! Stay tuned!

Power assist systems were everywhere at the ISS this year. Although these systems are not “new”, most of the manufacturers were launching new and improved versions of their products which was nice to see and demo. In the images above, I have the Twion (power assist),  E-fix (which converts a manual into a power drive wheelchair), Invacare e-motion wheels (power assist-no image) and the yamaha JWX-2, also known as the Sunrise Quickie X-tender and the yamaha wheelchair motor. Check out their websites for more information.

Freewheel also had a new product this year. They have actually created a way to mount their freewheel onto a manual folding frame! How exciting! They essentially created a removeable cross bar that can be added to most manual folding frames. A super nice addition to this line.

AEL had a cool new trunk lateral hardware called the Omnilink  and it had loads of adjustability! Quite easy to actually adjust the components as well, which is so important when trying to get it into the “just right” position.

NXT and Vicair had some cool new hardware innovations. Check out that headrest mount that can be easily positioned out of the way. Also, check out the backrest quick release bar and the trunk lateral depth adjustment piece. Quite a nice feature if you ask me. Also, Vicair has made some improvements with their covers to make them more breatheable.

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I’ve featured the symmetric designs backrest before on the blog. But here is is again. Such a unique product. They have also made some improvements to make this system more durable and easy to adjust. They also have a new website, which is absolutely beautiful. Definitely a cool product that I would love to trial with the right client.

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Ki mobility had a power tilt system on display at the ISS. This system can be added onto their tilt in space wheelchair to make it easy for a client to access their own tilt. It was a really nice system and was super smooth.

Ottobock had two really cool products this year at the ISS. They had their new adjustable carbon fiber wheelchair called the Voyager Evolution wheelchair. They also had their Terra Flair cushion, which integrates Roho air cells at the back of a foam cushion. This was a very comfortable cushion. Definitely going to keep this one in mind for a trial!

 

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So that’s all for my ISS summary. I hope you found some products here that may help one of your clients in the future. I leave you with this picture of me and Lindsay right before we presented. We don’t look that nervous do we? Perhaps we hide it well! 😉

Thanks again for checking in! And remember, Seating is Super!

Cheryl

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Wheelchair Seating Modifications for Fractured Femur

Happy Friday Everyone! And happy belated Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers! This week I would like to share with you some seating modifications done by Dave Cooper at Priority Posture Systems. Dave even supplied the photos for this post as I unfortunately forgot to take some after we had finished the modifications. Thanks Dave! This client already had a custom fabricated seating system, which was fabricated by James Cooper at Priority Posture Systems. This system consisted of a foam-in-box backrest and custom seat comprised of a custom sized dual-valve Roho insert for the ischial well and a custom foam front end. It also has custom arm supports that were mounted on swing to side armrests for clearance of the trunk laterals during transfers. Here is a picture of her system below:

Our client sustained a right femur fracture during a transfer and needed to be casted, then splinted from her thigh to her ankle. It was definitely one of those urgent, “….oh dear! what do we do??”, kind of cases. This splint supported and held the clients’ knee in extension and it therefore needed to be supported in this position when she was using her wheelchair and seating system. This client also required modifications to her commode as she used this for bathing and toileting. So here is what we did:

As you can see from the pictures, a custom fabricated contoured pad was made and upholstered, then mounted onto the front rigging of the wheelchair. The contouring laterally was important to keep the limb in place. A neoprene strap with velcro was added later as well to keep the limb in place. On the commode the mount was secured onto one of the posts where the footrest would have mounted onto. This was a simple fix, but was somewhat difficult to troubleshoot through. We could only transfer the client in/out of the system once due to pain. Prior to this visit, the family practiced raising the head of the bed slightly and did regular hip passive range of motion exercises to maintain mobility at the hip for sitting. This was key to the success of trial and fabrication process. Funding was also a bit complicated as this was a temporary modification. This client will likely need to use the splint for at least 6 months. For this particular client, that amount of time would be unreasonable to remain on bedrest due to her medically fragile status. Some considerations were her skin health, respiratory health and bowel and bladder health. These were some of the issues that were relevant and helpful points for funding justification. Anyways, I hope you find this post helpful! Thanks again to Dave Cooper at Priority Posture Systems for the photos and the great work! Until next time!

Seating is Super!

Cheryl

Advanced Health Care and ROHO Inservice

Happy Monday everyone! In BC, we are just wrapping up the long weekend. It was rainy start to Victoria Day today, but I hope everyone had a lovely afternoon in the clear weather anyways. I’ve been MIA for a while because I just got back from New York City! Yes, that’s right, the BIG Apple! I was there with my husband for a conference as well as for some vacation time. I even brought back some photos and stories for you. I hope you like them! Before I get into that, I would love to share with you some new-ish products by the ROHO group. Shawn Aslani from Advanced Health Care Products and Andy Woodcock, Canadian Sales Manager from the ROHO group came to the Access office to give us a heads up on new products. So here you go! See below of a photo of a Roho Enhancer cushion. It is essentially a Roho cushion that has different cell heights integrated into the same cushion to offer some positioning/contouring properties. We also spoke saw the ROHO hybrid Elite cushion (sorry, no photo, but click here). This is a great option for clients who require a more stable front end for transfers or for those require more rigidity for positioning. I do caution you to do a thorough trial though as the Roho air cells are not as high as the high profile cushions, which can allow some clients to bottom out. Also, WATCH THOSE GREATER TROCHANTERS on this cushion. I’ve sometime cut the sides down or ordered a wider cushion to clear the GTs. If you are concerned, a safer option is the Roho Quadtro. You can lose stability from this cushion, but when inflated properly it can work very well. Check out the Roho Videos for inflation education. These are great resources for caregivers too!

Andy also brought in the new hardware they are using for their Agility backrests. This hardware is very, VERY  light in weight. It’s a nice design and really cuts down on the bulk without completely losing adjustability for positioning of the backrest. Most likely best for a client who can do without a lot of adjustment changes, but is not quite set for fixed mounted brackets. Shawn also brought in some Body Point products such as the Evoflex Pelvic Stabilizer. I’ve used this product quite a few times now and am really liking it. It’s nice for client’s who transfer on their own as the belt straps stay up and out of the way of the seat. It also offers a bit more positioning support than the standard body point belts. This belt also comes with a Sub-ASIS pad kit and a mounting kit. These are both great options to consider. See my post here to see how I’ve used it with a client of mine.

Now, for some fun facts about New York! We went to the Museum of Modern Art (aka MoMA) to take in some of the most iconic pieces by Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso and even Andy Warhol. During our exploration of the museum, we ran into this! The Accessible Icon Project! This project was focused on re-designing the International Symbol of Access into a more active image of a wheelchair user. I was so excited to see this at MoMA. New York is filled with older, narrow buildings with narrow hallways, narrow walkways, tons of stairs and minimal ramping. I have to say though, I did notice some changes at some of the newer tourist attractions. For example, at the 9/11 memorial, the corners of the memorial are undercut/slanted to allow for a wheelchair user to come up close to the fountain’s edge. Although the edges of the fountain were still quite high, it did make the fountain much easier to view.  On a side note, the 9/11 memorial was a truly moving and heartwrenching sight. I still remember where I was when I heard about the whole thing. We both definitely appreciated the opportunity to pay our respects at the site during our trip. Also,  the 9/11 museum opens tomorrow. We just missed it, but would have loved to have seen it. Not sure if I could have handled it though…..

On a happier note, I will leave you with a picture of the skyline of NYC from the Top of the Rock.

Thanks for checking in again!

Seating is Super!

Cheryl