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Permobil Blog / June 1, 2016

Wound Care: How To Fight Shear

Wound Care: How To Fight Shear

We introduced the definition of shear in this blog.

Shear is often considered the “silent” cause of wounds because unlike wounds caused from pressure or microclimate, it begins in the deep tissue layer and works its way upward to the surface of the skin. Before we can notice that there is a wound, the extensive damage is done without visual warning signs.

Understanding when shear can happen will help to take necessary precautionary measures to prevent it!

Shear usually occurs:

  • During transfers

  • In sitting, while reaching

  • In sitting, during weight shifts

  • Repositioning in bed and in the chair

We can fight shear with a technology called GlideWear®.

What is GlideWear®?

GlideWear® is a fabric embedded in cushion covers that has a low co-efficient of friction, allowing the individual's pelvis to move while reaching, weight shifting, repositioning and during transfers instead of fighting against that natural movement in order to reduce shear.

GlideWear Image

GlideWear® is strategically placed in the “Shear Reduction Zone” under the bony prominences where pressure is at its peak. GlideWear® can be used to help decrease the risk of pressure injuries as well as aid in the healing of an existing wound.

GlideWear® is exclusive to Comfort Company cushions!


A common question is, “Well doesn’t the individual just slide out of the chair if it allows the pelvis to move?” The answer is NO and THAT is the beauty of GlideWear®!

Since the “Shear Reduction Zone”, which has a low co-efficient of friction, is surrounded by fabric that has a high co-efficient friction, called the “Stability Zone”, the Stability Zone will STOP the pelvis from sliding forward.  GlideWear-ShieldCushion-Faded

Through the geometry of the cushion we are about to redistribute pressure and with GlideWear® we address friction. And since by definition shear is a combination of pressure and friction, we have just solved how to fight SHEAR!

Hopefully this blog has provided some insight on the new technology available to you in your fight against shear. If you’re interested in learning even more about pressure and shear reduction techniques, download our Pressure Management Guide here!

Ana EndsjoAna 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 Care Division.

Categories: Complex Rehab, Long Term Care

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