Thursday, November 26, 2009

Selecting the proper wheelchair cushion

Basic cushion Adds comfort for lower risk seated individuals.

Moderate cushion Helps redistribute pressure for those at risk for pressure ulcers. May also help with positioning needs.

Advanced cushion Significant pressure redistribution for highest risk patients or those with pressure ulcers. Will address positioning needs. May be adjustable to meet individual patient needs.

Step2: Choose the Type of  Cushion Material

Foam wheelchair Cushion: Most economical material. Typically used for comfort through moderate pressure redistribution. Different density foams can be used to address patient comfort, including more expensive visco elastic memory foams. Different cut patterns are often used to prevent shear and help reduce pressure.

 Gel & Foam wheelchair Cushion: Typically provide moderate to advanced pressure redistribution. Most common design is gel sacks placed between high- er quality foams. Gel sacks separated into quadrants perform best by keeping gel focused under problem areas to reduce pressure. Also designed to reduce shear and heat. 

Air Cell wheelchair Cushion: Typically provide the most advanced pressure redistribution. These cushions are adjustable to meet the individual needs of each patient. Redistribute pres- sure very well by distributing weight evenly. Tracks patient movements and adjusts to patient’s body contours reducing pressure points.

Step3: Choose the Best Cushion Design

Flat wheelchair Cushions Sometimes referred to as a zero elevation cushion, it has the same thickness across the entire cush- ion. Can be used for comfort or pressure redistribution.

 Wedge wheelchair Cushions Thicker in the front and angling down to a thinner back, it pro- vides support, stability and pres- sure redistribution for active users that tend to slide forward.

Pommel wheelchair Cushions Abducts legs to reduce skin shear and pressure. Provides proper alignment to reduce hip rotation. Can be on a flat or wedge cushion.

 Contour wheelchair Cushions Sometimes referred to as a Saddle Cushion, it emphasizes proper positioning and leg align- ment while reducing hip rotation. Provides pressure redistribution and comfort by increasing seating area.

Anti-Thrust wheelchair Cushions Has a one inch shelf in the middle to reduce thrusting and sliding forward. Helps reduce sacral sitting. Low profile front minimizes leg elevation.

 Back Cushions Provides comfort, support and cushioning on back and spine. Helps redistribute pressure while eliminating the hammock effect of a sling back


  1. see more selections at

  2. Beside those we also consider these points:

    1. A seat cushion's size should be matched exactly to the wheelchair's seat size.

    2. Remember that a seat cushion's height adds to the wheelchair's seat-to-floor height, so a taller cushion will cause you to sit taller, accordingly (which can be an issue fitting under tables and desks).

    3. If there's a chance that the cushion will be exposed to fluids, an incontinence cover should be used. Hospital Mattress