A pressure ulcer (also known as a pressure sore) can be common in those that use wheelchairs, as well as those that have limited or no mobility.

Staying in one position for too long can significantly increase the risk of sores, which is why cushions and other measures can help to prevent these painful sores. Here at Momentum Healthcare, we stock a range of custom wheelchair cushions that aim to help with pressure relief and postural care. Here’s our guide on using pressure cushions to prevent pressure sores.

What are Pressure Sores?

Pressure sores are wounds on the skin that can be slightly discoloured and painful, or if serious, can go deep to the bone. These sores are caused by continuous pressure on a certain point of the body. If an individual is sitting in a wheelchair or lying in a bed in the same position for long periods of time, the skin and tissue underneath can become damaged. Sores are most likely to appear on bony areas such as elbows, knees and hips.

What are the Symptoms?

Because those with limited mobility are at high risk of injury through prolonged pressure, it is vital that carers and individuals keep an eye out for symptoms, and contact a medical professional if necessary. Symptoms are placed into 4 categories.

Category 1 (Initial Symptoms)

  • pain in a certain area on the body
  • patch on body discoloured
  • itchiness in one area

Category 2

  • the appearance of a blister or wound
  • pain and itchiness where the wound is

Category 3

  • a deeper, more painful wound in a certain area

Category 4

  • a much deeper wound that can reach the bone and cause permanent injury

Anyone experiencing symptoms of a pressure wound should seek advice from a medical professional.

Using Pressure Cushions to Prevent Pressure Sores Momentum Healthcare

How Can Pressure Cushions Reduce Risk?

Pressure cushions are a form of seating for a wheelchair or ordinary chair that can help to reduce the risk of sores. The cushions work by having an individual’s weight spread evenly across the seat in order to prevent a build-up of pressure in one area. Pressure cushions are also designed to prevent rubbing and chafing, which can make life much more comfortable for those confined to a seat. These cushions come in a range of designs, depending on the severity of injury that a customer has. Pressure-relieving cushions that work best to reduce the risk of sores include layers of either foam or gel, which provide optimum comfort, as well as additional postural benefits.

Foam Cushions

Foam cushions are most popular for wheelchair users that can move about, either through changing positions or being able to get up out of the wheelchair to transfer to another seat or bed. Foam cushions are recommended for patients dealing with category 1 symptoms of pressure ulcers. A foam wheelchair cushion can offer pressure relief and will provide better stability.

Gel Cushions

A gel cushion is a better option for those suffering from category 2 symptoms. As the cushion moulds around the individual’s body, pressure points are relieved which distributes weight and takes the pressure of specific areas that could be prone to injury. The fluid in the cushion makes them ideal for pressure relief in wheelchairs and seating.

A pressure cushion is an affordable way to minimise the risk of injury for those with limited mobility. There are also solutions available for those with category 3 symptoms, such as an air cushion or a cushion that contains a variety of layered materials to better support an individual.

How Do I Choose the Appropriate Cushion?

Choosing the appropriate equipment for preventing and treating pressure ulcers is highly important to avoid long-term injury. The best way to decide on the appropriate equipment or cushion is to get advice and support from a healthcare professional, who can prescribe you antibiotics, ointments, vitamins or advise you to purchase a wheelchair cushion. In some cases, patients also require a pressure support mattress.

What Cushions are Available at Momentum Healthcare?

At Momentum Healthcare, we offer a range of pressure-relieving, custom-made cushions. We are exclusive partners of Ride Designs, a leading American manufacturer of wheelchair backrests and cushions. Ride Designs create seating that truly makes a difference to the health and wellbeing of customers around Ireland.

Custom Moulded Cushion

Our Ride Custom 2 cushion provides support for both posture and pressure. The cushion is made specifically for an individual’s shape through a fast and simple scanning process. Our Ride Custom back is also recommended as a pressure management cushion for wheelchair users.

Wheelchair Cushions

The cushions at Momentum Healthcare are designed to specifically target areas of risk for an individual with limited movement. The Ride cushion works to remove force from the user’s trunk and applies it to other more tolerant areas. The cushion also manages heat and moisture, is lightweight, easy to clean and easy to modify.

Wheelchair Backrests

Backrests provide support and comfort for the user, no matter what their age, size, or level of physical challenge. The backrests work in the same way as a cushion in relieving certain points with a high risk of injury.

Reduce your risk while sitting for long periods of time by finding a cushion here. Our products have a range of features and designs so why not speak to a member of our friendly team to find out more.

Email us through info@momentumhc.ie or call us on (056) 771 2394.