Decubitus ulcers are a severe and potentially life-threatening complication for individuals with a spinal cord injury. Prevention is the most cost effective approach to the problem of pressure ulcers. The wheelchair cushion, often viewed as t~e primary mechanism for prevention, is not the only means. Conscious pressure relief is a necessity for prevention of pressure sores. In this study, the Xsensor Pressure Mapping System was used to investigate the effectiveness of four different wheelchair cushions coupled with three different pressure relieving techniques. The purpose of this. study was to determine which combination best alleviates and distributes the pressure at the body-seat interface of individuals with quadriplegia. Results for pressure distribution in static sitting showed: ROHO high profile had a significant (p < .001) increase in mean number of cells at low pressure when compared to Flofit, Jay2, and personal cushion. When comparing pressure relief techniques, sidebending right and left had a significant (p=.023) increase in mean number of cells at nil pressure when compared to forward flexion. Results for pressure distribution while looking at four different cushions coupled with three different pressure relief techniques showed Flofit had an increase in mean number of cells at nil pressure when compared to ROHO High Profile and Jay2. With these results one may .conclude that 1) the ROHO High Profile appears to be the more adequate cushion for pressure distribution in static sitting, 2) the Flofit cushion appears to be the more adequate cushion for pressure distribution when-performing the three different pressure relief techniques and 3) the sidebending techniques give significantly more pressure relief than the forward flexion pressure relief technique. It is essential that when prescribing wheelchair cushions clinicians are cognizant of the fact that all clients have individual needs. Furthermore, the Xsensor Pressure Mapping System is only one component of the clinical decision making process.
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