Pressure injuries are a huge issue within any healthcare organization. Another common issue is frequent staff turnover, making caregiver training on equipment and proper use difficult. Something I hear a lot is, “we don’t have time to be checking a cushion on a daily basis.”
Permobil has multiple premium skin protection options in our portfolio and today we are taking a look at some low maintenance and easy-to-use options that address these issues.
Vicair® cushions are adjustable skin protection solutions that are ideal for clients at risk or with existing pressure injuries.
What makes Vicair® unique?
Air is a proven medium to use with clients at high risk because it mimics viscous fluid and continuously adjusts to any shape. The air medium through immersion and envelopment redistributes pressure evenly around the object placed on it.
We often think of air technology in seating as flowing air technology, or fluid air, as seen in ROHO® technology. With flowing air technology, air moves within and between cells, but Vicair® is different.
Vicair® technology is a Non-Flowing or (static) air option.
What does non-flowing air mean?
Vicair® is compromised of individual SmartCells gathered in designated compartments. Air is locked in each individual SmartCell. Rather than air flowing in and out of SmartCells, the air stays within its cell, static, and the entire SmartCell will shift within a compartment as a result in a positional change from the client sitting on it.
How does the SmartCell immerse and envelop the user?
Vicair®’s SmartCells are tetrahedron shaped. They are not quite a triangle or a pyramid, but are a combination of the two.
SmartCells are constructed of a soft material with thin outer walls that allows them to easily slide against each other to conform and settle around the user within their given compartment. The shape of SmartCells makes it so when slightly compressed, they can shift and settle into layers under the weight of an individual. They ultimately take the shape of the individual on the cushion while providing a stable surface.
The SmartCells move and protect the skin and soft tissue under the bony prominences by immersing and enveloping the anatomical shape of the user, creating contour and optimal pressure redistribution.
Can Vicair® cushions address positioning needs?
Every Vicair® cushion in the Permobil portfolio has a predetermined number of SmartCells in each compartment creating a ready to use seating surface straight out of the box, making it a simple solution without any caregiver training needed.
However, each compartment can be adjusted to fit individual needs by adding or removing SmartCells to accommodate or correct postural asymmetries of the individual user. Once set, no further modification is required by the caregiver.
To take the cushion back to its “out of the box” state, simply refer to the diagram on the rear tag of the cushion. There, it is easy to reference the original number of cells in each compartment in case you have made any adjustments over time.
These air cushions have a positioning feature beyond being an amazing skin protection cushion. They shift with any micro-movement that the user makes in the chair, adjusting and readjusting to that every movement. And due to the tetrahedron shape, the SmartCells interlock. Once the individual is seated and settled on the cushion, the SmartCells lock together providing a nice stable surface.
What Vicair® cushions are offered in the Permobil portfolio?
Here are Permobil’s Vicair® offering:
Stayed tuned in the coming weeks as we will discuss features, benefits and applications of each in the coming weeks!
Ana Endsjo, MOTR/L, CLT
National Education Manager - Long Term Care Division
Ana Endsjo has worked as an occupational therapist since 2001 in a variety of treatment settings. She has mainly worked with the geriatric population, dedicated to the betterment of the treatment of the elderly in long term care centers. Her focus has been on seating and positioning and contracture management of the nursing home resident. With this experience, her hope is to guide other therapists, rehab directors, nurses, and administrators through educational guides, blogs, webinars, and live courses in her role as National Education Manager - Long Term