Key requirements which could help prevent pressure ulcers based on potential user insight and consultation with Dr.Anita Perr and web research :
- material that deters moisture, keep the skin dry
- create movement, enhance blood circulation
- minimize friction and stretches to the skin muscles
Key details which should be taken into consideration when designing for people in wheelchairs:
- High backed waistbands
- Adding length to the legs
- Make the pants easy to put on and taken off
- Highest quality fabrics
- Make sure to use fasteners that do not add pressure on the skin
- Feels like normal clothes
- Keep the knee area warmer
Design accessory or garment to be as light and easy to carry as possible
These are specification I believe I should follow:
- High-Tech fabric which has moisture repellent qualities
- Stretchy fabric, 4 way stretch
- Fabric should have texture on the outer exposed side for it to be attractive, and stimulating to touch
- Lycra or other stretchy fabric to construct the waist band, similarly to what is being used on pregnancy pants
- Make waistband higher at the back
- opening near the ankle, zipper or snaps to make legs slide easily
- adding knee detail as an extra layer
- no side seams
- no fastening, pants as pull on
- bottom has an insert pocket to slide an air cushion
This week I received the ROHO cushions and alternating pressure air pump which originally is used for a mattress. My plan was to combine these two products and cut into shape to create an insertable pillow in the pants.
When I finally got the pump I noticed that it has two pipes. One is to fill the mattress with air and the other to suck the air out. I wasn’t able to find more information on this product before purchasing it and now I need to figure out if it could work combined with the ROHO cushion.
Also the pump, although described as quiet is not quiet enough to go unnoticed. I believe that this noise wouldn’t be something that people would like to have around them constantly.
The ROHO cushions I bought were defected and that’s why I was able to afford them. Another problem I encountered with these cushions is that they are much higher volume than I anticipated.
My next steps will be to re-evaluate the technicalities of how to create movement under the sitting body. Furthermore I am looking to speak with more people who could give me insight on how to prevent and deal with pressure ulcers.