Being on the lookout for pressure injuries is paramount within any healthcare organization, specifically within senior living. One defining factor that plays into pressure injuries is frequent staff turnover. Think about it – if you have caregivers coming in and out the doors at a senior living facility, proper use and equipment training can fall by the wayside. When staff are overwhelmed, they likely won’t want to just check a cushion on a daily basis. 

Luckily, Permobil has several premium skin protection options that offer low maintenance and ease of use; for example, their Vicair® cushions are “adjustable skin protection solutions that are ideal for clients at risk or with existing pressure injuries.” 

Ask the Expert: Ana Endsjo

Ana Endsjo (MOTR/L, CLT) is the National Education Manager – Long Term Division for Permobil. She has worked as an Occupational Therapist for over 20 years in several different types of treatment settings, mainly with the senior population. Her specialty focuses on seating, positioning, and contracture management of the nursing home resident – so who better to discuss how Vicair® Cushions can help prevent pressure injuries?

What differentiates Vicair® from other cushions?

Air is a proven medium to use with clients at high risk, because it mimics viscous fluid and continuously adjusts to any shape. The air medium through immersion and envelopment redistributes pressure evenly around the object placed on it.

We often think of air technology in seating as flowing air technology, or fluid air, as seen in ROHO® technology. With flowing air technology, air moves within and between cells, but Vicair® is different.

Vicair® technology is a Non-Flowing or (static) air option.

What does non-flowing air mean?

Vicair® is composed of individual SmartCells gathered in designated compartments. Air is locked in each individual SmartCell. Rather than air flowing in and out of SmartCells, the air stays within its cell, static, and the entire SmartCell will shift within a compartment as a result in a positional change from the client sitting on it.

How does the SmartCell immerse and envelop the user?

Vicair® ‘s SmartCells are tetrahedron-shaped. They are not quite a triangle or a pyramid but are a combination of the two.

SmartCells are constructed of a soft material with thin outer walls that allows them to easily slide against each other to conform and settle around the user within their given compartment. The shape of SmartCells makes it so when slightly compressed, they can shift and settle into layers under the weight of an individual. They ultimately take the shape of the individual on the cushion while providing a stable surface.

The SmartCells move and protect the skin and soft tissue under the bony prominences by immersing and enveloping the anatomical shape of the user, creating contour and optimal pressure redistribution.

Can Vicair® cushions address positioning needs?

Every Vicair® cushion in the Permobil portfolio has a predetermined number of SmartCells in each compartment creating a ready to use seating surface straight out of the box, making it a simple solution without any caregiver training needed.

However, each compartment can be adjusted to fit individual needs by adding or removing SmartCells to accommodate or correct postural asymmetries of the individual user. Once set, no further modification is required by the caregiver.

To take the cushion back to its “out of the box” state, simply refer to the diagram on the rear tag of the cushion. There, it is easy to reference the original number of cells in each compartment in case you have made any adjustments over time.

These air cushions have a positioning feature beyond being an amazing skin protection cushion. They shift with any micro-movement that the user makes in the chair, adjusting and readjusting to that every movement. And due to the tetrahedron shape, the SmartCells interlock. Once the individual is seated and settled on the cushion, the SmartCells lock together providing a nice stable surface.

What Vicair® cushions are offered through Direct Supply®?

The following cushions are available through Direct Supply®:

Vicair® Adjuster O2

Vicair® Vector O2

Vicair® Vector O2

Vicair® Adjuster O2

Find the right Vicair cushions to meet the needs of your unique resident population: