Considerations with a standing chair mechanism in fighting pressure sores.
There are several documented benefits to having a standing mechanism as a part of a power wheelchair system.
Benefits include urinary health improvement, increased circulation and loosening muscles to decrease spasticity. There is another benefit of using a standing mechansim in a power wheelchair and that is to help prevent pressure injury to the posterior.
Pressure sores can occur from steady force of the persons weight pressing down into the wheelchair seat, especially under the ischials and the sacral area. Having the ability to stand upright in a wheelchair changes the distribution of your body weight and can even promote healing of pressure sores at the posterior. This is because the body weight is spread over a greater area rather than being concentrated in the posterior. But when considering a standing wheelchair specifically for the benefit of avoiding pressure sores there are several things to consider.
A standing wheelchair only delivers the benefit of decreasing pressure at the posterior when the person is in a standing position. All other times you are applying constant pressure to the posterior from being in the sitting position. To effectively help avoiding and fighting pressure sores you must perform this standing activity every 20 minutes. That would be impossible if traveling in a vehicle. It would be impractical in a social situation like in a restaurant. You could not do it in a movie theater. It would be distracting to all people in a classroom if you were a student or the teacher. It could be undesirable at work because it could cause a distraction or be inappropriate in certain work environments.
Another consideration of a standing mechanism is the cost. The costs will vary depending on the brand and type of wheelchair but the high-end cost for a power wheelchair equipped with a standing feature can be as high as $55,000. Consider the frequency of standing which is required to effectively shift weight from the posterior to relieve pressure for the purpose of helping to prevent pressure sores. That frequency is every 20 minutes. If you are depending on the standing feature alone as the means to help prevent pressure injury and you cannot possibly perform the standing function as often as required, maybe you should be looking at another option.
For less than 8% of the high-end cost of a standing wheelchair, one can purchase a state-of-the-art SofTech alternating wheelchair cushion from Aquila which is specifically built to provide pressure relief, not every 20 minutes but every 60 seconds. With our wheelchair cushion there is no requirement to stand every 20 minutes. You simply turn the cushion on when you first sit on your chair and that’s all that is required. All day long the Aquila wheelchair cushion delivers automatic alternating pressure relief with no interaction from the user. Our wheelchair cushions work invisibly and are nearly silent in operation. There is no more efficient and effective form of regular pressure relief.
Our wheelchair cushions may not address issues such as loosening muscles or improve urinary tract function, but they are excellent for providing pressure relief and improving existing and fighting pressure sores. So, if you are serious about utilizing the very best device in the industry for providing pressure relief and custom offloading, there is only one choice, The Aquila wheelchair cushion. Call today 866-782-9658 for more information. We have 21 years of experience providing the very best in pressure management.