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Thread: Levo Standing Wheelchair

  1. #1

    Levo Standing Wheelchair

    Does anyone have any experience with the Levo line of standing wheelchairs? My left ischium is basically skin and bones and very susceptible to skin breakdown so my Dr. wants me to stand as much as possible.

    I've gone online and looked at the Levo LAE - a manual version that looks like the right fit for me. I'm going to be having a rep show me that one plus LCEV which provides eliectric lift from sitting to standing (I think the gas/hydraulic on the LAE will be fine and a lot lighter, but I''ll at least look at the other one.

    Are they as good as they look? Do they help prevent pressure sores if used frequently?
    Last edited by jeffyonker; 01-04-2011 at 07:58 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    644
    Hi,
    You probably want a response from an adult user, but since nobody else has replied yet, here are the details of my 7 year old son's Levo. It is a manual chair with electric lift.

    Cost in Jun 2008 – $4000 for a reconditioned model, which included delivery to Perth (I picked it up from O’Connor). New cost was $9000 in Feb 2008.
    Make/model: They ask for detailed measurements of your child, and ensure that the wheelchair is sized appropriately.
    Website: http://www.levousa.com/levo-lcev-kid...fications.html or http://www.levo.ch/2_Englisch/Erfahr...Anwender_E.htm

    Comments:
    Shipped complete. Just had to work out how to attach the battery and electric connections, which weren’t that obvious, but managed in the end (easy to do when you know how!).
    Took about 4 weeks for delivery.
    My son uses the chair all the time at pre-primary, and we use it when he goes to the toilet (catheters).
    We will look at getting a larger model very soon, as the one he currently has has small wheels (the Kid Model) that don’t make it easy to move fast outside, but are perfect for school conditions, where he needs to get under very low desks. (Nov 2010 update: we got the upgraded size change made at the beginning of 2010...another $2000 to do, but worth it when my son moved to the primary school, where the desks were tall enough that the larger chair could still fit underneath).
    Battery lasts for several days before recharging is necessary. Need to remember to take the charger with you if you travel with the chair – I forgot when we went to Brisbane last time, and the battery ran out a couple of days before we returned.
    The chair doesn’t come with a seat cushion, so you will need to supply your own.
    Problems: One minor one – just need to ensure that toes don’t get trapped in the footplate when standing up. We always ensure my son wears his AFOs if he is standing, but they can get stuck sometimes. Wearing shoes will prevent toes etc getting trapped, and the heavier the person, the less likely it will happen. (Nov 2010 update: we haven't had that problem in ages, and my son doesn't usually wear AFOs at the moment).
    Gordon, father of son who became t6 paraplegic at the age of 4 in 2007 as a result of surgery to remove a spinal tumour.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    644
    And to answer your specific queries, yes, they are as good as they look on the website (albeit these chairs are not light). And my son has not had any pressure sores, but I wouldn't attribute that entirely to the Levo.

    You are definitely doing the right thing by getting demos (something we couldn't get in Western Australia!)

    Cheers,
    Gordon
    Gordon, father of son who became t6 paraplegic at the age of 4 in 2007 as a result of surgery to remove a spinal tumour.

  4. #4

    Levo Stand up wheelchair

    Gordon,

    Thanks for your response on the Levo chairs, even if it was for your young son. I also got a positive response from a wheelchair mechanic I know in Switzerland (even though I now live in the US, I was injured while living in Europe and did my rehab at the Swiss Paraplegic Centre and got to know the wheelchair mechanics quite well.

    He writes that he has seen patients with Levos, and that they are well made. So I now have two positive responses and zero negatives.

    I also tried out the chair myself today, and even though it wasn't made for my weight and height, I got to standing quite easily once I learned the trick.

    Now to get insurance to go along with it.

    Thanks for the tips,

    Jeff

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    644
    Good luck with the insurance company!
    Cheers,
    Gordon
    Gordon, father of son who became t6 paraplegic at the age of 4 in 2007 as a result of surgery to remove a spinal tumour.

  6. #6
    I have had a lifestand helium chair for the last 2 months, seems to be lighter and more versatile than the levo.
    It's well built and also looks great and is very quick to stand and sit. Great system.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    los angeles ca. usa
    Posts
    52
    You are right about the extra weight of the electronic standing. - I bought one and dont use it very much for that reason.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    los angeles ca. usa
    Posts
    52
    The time it takes to go up and down is much more of a factor than you would think - I agree with k-dog.

  9. #9

    Lifestand chair

    Thanks to those who recommended Lifestand. It is lighter and looks easier to get to standing. I'm having a rep bring a demo.

  10. #10
    We have had both the LAE and the Helium brought in for demo purposes. While they are very innovative in their designs, we issue very few of them. There is a reason for this, and it isn't funding.



    Manual standers do have their place, but they should only be considered as a second chair or a purpose-specific chair for most people. This is because there are significant tradeoffs that come along with having the standing feature--especially if will serve as someone's primary wheelchair. These include:

    1. Weight
    2. Overall Width
    3. Positioning
    4. Propulsion
    5. Weight
    6. Overall Width

    This pic from the Levo web site shows the happy LAE end user getting his catamaran set up for sailing. The LAE sure looks sleek and portable, and it almost looks as if he drove to the beach, hopped out of his Saab, rolled effortlessly over to the boat, and is just about ready to transfer in, pull the LAE in bedside him, and sail off into the sunset...



    In reality, the LAE will only be going along for the ride if the forecast is for severe storms and he anticipates having to head for safe harbor and will need an effective anchor. Realistically, nether a Helium or LAE is going to come in under 40-45 lbs in its lightest configuration. Thus, it is not practical to be transported in the community unless the end user either owns a van or takes public transportation.

    Here are some pics of a blue LAE we recently issued. I think they should name the color "Dycem Blue"...



    With both designs, the footrest extension tubes make contact with the ground as the seat elevates to prevent forward tipping and the standing position itself is less than 10-15 degrees from a truly vertical position. It is a very functional standing position, however, and there seems to be less of a risk of excessive lower extremity pressure compared to some of the power standing chairs I've had experience with.

    Did I mention overall width was an issue? This is because of the mandatory rear wheel camber for stability and the role the armrests in the mechanism used to come to a standing position. (On this chair, the Max Grepp ergo hand rims probably add another inch of width compared to traditional long tab mounted hand rims). I believe the seat width for this LAE was spec'd to be a tad under 16", but the overall width was still 28".




    How Does It Work?

    The end user brings the seat to a standing position by squeezing release levers located on each armrest and rotating the armrests to a position where they can be used for leverage, a third lever located on one of the armrests is then squeezed to release the gas struts to assist the person to push themselves upward. Release that lever, squeeze the other two levers to rotate the armrests again so they can provide leverage from the semi standing position, squeeze the third lever to release the struts, push up, lather, rinse, and repeat.



    One significant advantage with the Levo is that only one lever needs to be squeezed to release the struts. This provides the end user with the capability of getting something out of a cabinet or shelf, and holding it in one hand while lowering the seat down to the sitting position with the other. With the Helium, both hands are needed to return to a sitting position.

    The pics below show the armrest-based lifting mechanism, flip up footrest, the knee block design, and a disassembled LAE just waiting to be loaded onto that catamaran (note that it has quick release caster forks)..



    Closing Thoughts

    Neither chair can be ordered with more than 2" of seat dump. The Levo has a little more rear STF height adjustability than the Lifestand, but lowering the rear STF height also has the effect of limiting how upright the seat will be when in the standing position.

    Neither model could be considered inexpensive unless they they are compared against powerchairs having a standing function. As with the standing powerchairs, one has to decide for themselves whether what they hope to accomplish by standing could be done more efficiently using a midwheel or frontwheel drive powerchair with a seat elevator.

    Oh, and there is also that minor issue about getting it paid for.
    Last edited by SCI_OTR; 01-09-2011 at 06:13 PM.


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