When fitting a wheelchair cushion there are a number considerations that should be adhered to ensure good posture of the patient. From our years of experience in designing and manufacturing our Relax Range of innovative seating solutions, we have compiled a handy checklist that can be followed when fitting a wheelchair cushion.
General patient considerations
- Patient diagnosis: Progressive or non-progressive condition
- Skin condition: What risk category are they in for developing pressure ulcers
- Patient’s weight
- Level of mobility and transfer requirements
- Is the patient continent or incontinent?
- Does the patient perspire a lot?
- Importance of posture control?
- General posture and level of stability
Is it neutral? Posterior (PSIS) and Anterior Superior Iliac Spine (ASIS) should be level. If not:
- Does the cushion allow enough immersion of ITs?
- Does the backrest need to be changed or adjusted?
- Is seat cushion length too short or too long?
Posterior pelvic tilt:
- Is the cushion size or wheelchair size too big?
- Query need for a firmer backrest.
- Is the backrest too wide or too big?
Anterior pelvic tilt:
- Is the wheelchair or cushion too small?
- Is cushion at the wrong angle? Query need to heighten support under thighs to lower position of the pelvis.
- Query altering the backrest or using a pelvic belt to assist with correction.
- Does the patient have a problem with hip flexion?
- The cushion may need modification if there are problems with hip flexion on one side.
- Are the wheelchair and cushion too big?
- Does the patient need more lateral leg support? Maybe a more contoured cushion.
Is the pelvis rotated?
Is patient position symmetrical?
- Does the patient need more lateral and medial leg support?
- Do they have kyphosis? Backrest may need to be adjusted or customised.
- Is the backrest too wide or generally too big?
- Is there sling upholstery on wheelchair seat? Query need for a firmer base.
- If the patient has flexible posture: Build up support under lowest Ischial Tuberosity ( IT )
- If the patient has fixed posture: Build up support under highest IT
- Is the wheelchair correct size or is it too big/small?
- Is back support correct? Patient may need different width back to seat width.
- Are the footrests and armrests at correct heights?
- Have they had poor posture for a prolonged period of time? May need to correct slowly.
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