In my project I am planning to make a garment that will be made specifically for people who are bound to a wheelchair or a bed. It will be a pant that will move the body using airflow in a gentle way to help prevent pressure ulcers. Research in the field of cushions for people in wheelchair promotes the idea of alternating pressure as a way to prevent pressure ulcers, it is suggested that people will switch positions every 15-30 minutes.
The pant will be comfortable to wear in sitting positions and laying environments. There will be a pump connected to the garment that in a set time schedule will operate automatically to keep the blood flow. The activation of the pump would happen without the need of ongoing help from a caregiver or of planned movement by the wearer.
It will be worn for daily use similarly to wearing casual jeans or sweat-pants. The fabric will have stretch and easily pulled on with an elastic waist band. At the edge of the spinal cord there will be a special support that would have minimum contact with the skin, it will be made as a 3D mesh to avoid pressure and friction at the delicate position.
It will have air cushions made out of very small “pillows” along the sit bones and under the thighs. One side (probably right) will be connected to a thin tube that will connect to an electric pump that would create airflow shifts in circular motions and never fully fill the air cushions. The pump should be extremely quiet, as small as possible, easy to move and reposition. It will have a switch to start it’s cycles, and a rechargeable battery.
I want to create a desirable garment that will empower the wearer. The pants will have a few versions and will vary in it’s gender attributes. It will be soft to touch, inside and outside of it, and will be pleasing to feel. The caregiver will only need to help dress and undress the wearer.
words list of all the ideas that I want to manifest in this project –
comfort, support, relief, empower, control, care, warmth, soft, interest, pleasure/ pleasing, personal, cushion, reliability, mobility, cool, unique, desirable, fun, float, attention, detail, thought, love, flow
In my research about pressure ulcers and products that could help prevent them from occurring I found the ‘smart e-pants‘ that give small electric shock to relieves pressure and boosts the supply of blood.
Ease Cushion is a company make alternating pressure cushions which cost about $2.5k and it seams that they are custom made
I also discovered the Leaf Patient Sensor which wirelessly monitors a patient’s position and movement to automate and document the management of prescribed turn protocols for patients at risk for Hospital Acquired Pressure Ulcers (HAPUs)
when looking at cushions that have alternating pressure I found this mattress that has alternating pressure pump connected to it
I found these ROHO products that I would like to test and check how it works if I’ll connect the alternating pressure pump to it –
perhaps I could use the toilet seat cushion to integrate it inside the pant
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