Static Versus Automatic Cushions in Pressure Injury Prevention
When cushion manufacturers claim their cushions treat and prevent pressure injury, the consumer needs to consider the facts on exactly what a cushion can and cannot do as well as how pressure injury occurs.
Pressure sores (also called pressure injury) are caused by constant un-relieved pressure to skin and tissue under the pelvic bones. Think of the arteries as a garden hose. Your body weight presses and restricts blood flow like a hose being compressed. That restricted blood flow (capillary occlusion) is how pressure injury begins because nutrients cannot reach the cells of the tissue and cells begin to die. Pressure injury is a common problem among wheelchair users and can be potentially deadly.
The most effective means of avoiding pressure injury is to relieve the constant pressure which is why doctors and therapists instruct patients to do pressure lifts every 20 minutes. By lifting the body weight, circulation to skin and tissue is restored and pressure injury is avoided.
If the cushion cannot create its own movement, it is impossible for the cushion itself to relieve pressure to skin and tissue. The user sits on the cushion and until the user lifts or moves around the pressure will be constant.
Static cushions cannot create movement by themselves. They can only react to the movement of the user. The user is providing the means to achieve pressure relief, not the cushion. Even a foam cushion with a cutout is static. There will be little or no pressure at the hole but the pressure remains constant in every part of the cushion that is in contact with the skin until the user lifts op or moves around.
Aquila Cushions Create Movement
Aquila cushions on the other hand automatically alternate to simulate a pressure lift and can give pressure relief as often as every 30 seconds. Our cushions are proactive in that they create movement which provides relief to compressed tissue and skin. They mimic the pressure relief of a pressure lift so the user gets a similar benefit with no direct action needed by the user.
We have a pressure mapping video which shows exactly what we are talking about when we say static versus alternating cushion. On our video page, you will see a comparison of our automatic cushion versus a roho static air cushion. The Aquila cushion alternates and stimulates circulation multiple times per minute while the roho just sits there motionless.
It is the same person is sitting on both cushions in our video.
Knowing that constant pressure is the cause of pressure injury and pressure relief prevents pressure injury, which cushion will be beneficial to the user and which will not? Common sense dictates that our automatic cushions are by design more beneficial to the user than a static cushion.