Dangers Associated with Static Air Wheelchair Cushions Like ROHO
There are two types of wheelchair cushions, static and dynamic. Static cushions include foam, air inflated, gel and combinations of these materials. You simply sit on these static cushions but then must make your own pressure relief or risk getting pressure sores. Static cushions cannot by themselves create any movement. The pressure exerted to the posterior is constant with a static cushion. The only way to get pressure relief with a static cushion is to move yourself. They lack personalized customization and the ability to treat pressure sores. What’s more is the fact that an “air only” cushion like a roho has no alarm system if they leak. A leak in a roho is extremely dangerous because all protection is lost and the user is sitting on absolutely nothing. This is especially dangerous if it is a power chair with a metal seat pan.
The Aquila custom wheelchair cushions are different. Our wheelchair cushions are dynamic, and they automatically change pressure distribution, which is similar to doing a pressure lift. Changing pressure distribution is essential in order to avoid pressure ulcers. Aquila cushions use a combination of air bladders and foam so there is always protection at all stages of inflation.
Comparing Aquila Cushions to Static Cushions
Below is a comparison of the Aquila APK2 to a common static air cushion like ROHO cushions.
Aquila APK2 Fully Automatic Cushion
A Simple Static Air Cushion
|Size or Shape Limitations|
|Continuous Monitoring of Pad Pressure|
|Custom Programmed Controller|
|Automatic Adjustments to Temperature & Altitude Changes|
|Bottom Out Protection|
|Clinically Proven to Heal Pressure Sores|
|Prone to Developing Leaks|
Watch this video and see the difference an alternating cushion makes while actively working to change pressure points and stimulate circulation versus a static cushion that provides constant pressure.
In the video the pressure map on the left is our alternating cushion and the one on the right is a ROHO static cushion which cannot change pressure points by itself. You’ll see first hand the difference between changing pressure points versus constant pressure.
Dangers & Risks of Using a Static Cushion
There are several dangers and risks of using a static air cushion.
- Tendency to Leak – Any static air cushion is considered high maintenance because they all have a tendency to leak. They must be pumped up when they are low on air and it is difficult if not impossible to inflate to a consistent correct air pressure. For example, the instruction manual for a popular static air cushion indicates that the air inflation of the cushion must be set so that the lowest bony prominence, usually the ischial tuberosity is one half to one inch from the wheelchair seat. The ROHO recommended method for measuring this distance is inserting two fingers under the ischial.
- Fluctuating Air – If air cushions have either too much or too little air inside, the user can be at immediate risk of developing a pressure sore, which can form in just a couple of hours.
- Difficulty with Air Valve – The valve of the air cushion can also be the source of a leak if it is not closed completely. If the user or caregiver has arthritis it could be difficult to close the air valve. If the air cushion is not inflated to the correct pressure giving adequate support from bottoming out, the user is in danger of developing a pressure sore.
- Repairing After Leaks – Air cushions must be repaired if they develop a leak. Some cushions come with repair kits and manufacturers expect the end users to repair the cushions themselves. If the repairs are less than perfect the cushion will continue to leak.
- Cannot Change Pressure Points – Static air cushions cannot change pressure points to the posterior. The user must reposition or move around under their own power in order to change pressure distribution.
- No Alarm System – ROHO cushions do not have an alarm system in place, so if the cushion suddenly deflates due to an environmental factor, the user has absolutely no protection and is in extreme danger.
Constant unrelieved pressure is the number one cause of pressure sores. If the user cannot perform some sort of pressure relief, they risk developing pressure sores.
Wondering if Aquila wheelchair cushions are right for you? Contact us today to see how we can help you.