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Thread: Ease Cushion / ROHO w/SmartCheck /Aquila SoftTech

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  1. #1

    Ease Cushion / ROHO w/SmartCheck /Aquila SoftTech

    Hey all,

    C-5/6 Quad here, 37 years post, looks like I'm looking at my 3rd Flap, and am currently recovering from a Stage IV Pressure sore on the Ischial. Currently in bed on a WoundVAC. I've had pressure mapped foam cut cushions up until now and over time they seem to compress, and the sore starts returning, putting me back in bed to heal. Started with High Profile ROHOs, and moved to custom cut pressure mapped assisted foam cushions.

    I've been thinking about the EASE Cushion, The Aquila APk2 or SoftTech to assist with my weight shifts. I checked out reviews, scoured the forums, and googled until my eyes bled. After I heal and get back into my chair, I've got to find a better alternative to what I am doing, so I'm reaching out to try and get some straight facts from users of the cushions.

    I've seen some issues with some of these cushions in relation to how much meat is covering the Ischial, I'm 6' 1" 200lbs and not much meat left down there.

    Looking for anyone who has had both positive and negative experiences with any of these cushions, or other suggestions.

    On a side note, has anyone gone as far as just sitting on a pressure mapping system all the time, since that would seem to be the best real time way to see if there are any issues. You'd think someone would whip up an iPad app or something at this point that can visualize the data.

    Thanks in advance,

    Hawk
    "Yesterday's History,Tomorrow's a Mystery"

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Posts
    194
    Hi Hawk,

    Sorry to hear of your problems with pressure ulcers. Myself or others in the CC community might be able to point you in a few helpful directions if we can learn a bit more about your history, your mobility and your level of independence. So can you share the following? 1) For how long have you used cut foam cushions? What made you move away from a High Profile ROHO to a cut foam solution? 2) Do you use a power or manual chair? If power, does it have any power seating functions to assist with pressure relief? 3) Do you do independent weight shifts? Or are you looking for powered or mechanical ways to help you with weight shifts?

    I work for ROHO, but I won't sell you on a ROHO solution if it doesn't seem to be the right solution for you. As others on this forum have pointed out, seating is very individualized and what works for one individual does not necessarily work the same for another individual. The trick is to find the right solution specific for you and your needs.

    Good luck!

    Tom

  3. #3
    Thanks for the reply, I mistakenly did not have instant notifications set. After a flap surgery 4 years ago I was introduced to the custom made foam cushion, and after their mapping they convinced me that this was a better alternative. I have had several adjustments of the cushion my conclusion is that it maps fine however after several hours of sitting the foam compresses and I bottom out. I’m a C5 –C6 quad, almost 37 years. I have a tilt wheelchair which has five degrees forward tilt and 40?tilt back however because I work in the office I mostly shift my weight by leaning forward which according to the pressure mapping relieved all pressure. I am almost ready to get back to sitting so I’m going to get pressure mapped or a high profile smart check as soon as I can find someone to map one.Does Roho offer pressure mapping?
    "Yesterday's History,Tomorrow's a Mystery"

  4. #4
    Greetings Hawk, it appears that I nearly match your physical profile although I weigh less than you. I am C5-C6 and nursing what started as a unstageable pressure wound on the ischial. However since my rate of healing is slower than the institutional standard, my insurance has discontinued the Wound-Vac (my skin does not tolerate the dressings so I have to use it on a rotating schedule two days on two days off). KCI charges $180 a day rental fee! Fortunately the wound is healing. The insurance has no problem granting approval for a plastic surgeon to do flap surgery. After talking to the doctor I decided to only do the surgery as a last resort. It is a small wound but the area is composed of scar tissue from a previous flap surgery.

    The Aquila Apk2 is my current cushion. I purchased it in a effort to save my ischial from further damage (I was too late but have had the time to partially evaluate). My initial experience has been outstanding. The alternating air pressure appears to work as well as my Hill-Rom mattress, yet you have more control over the settings.

    As I am sure you are aware the key to success with the Aquila, and for any of these custom cushions, is to have it fitted properly. This cushion is such a specialty item that it is difficult to find anyone with experience fitting one. I spent a lot of time on the telephone with the tech department before placing my order. Mine is designed so there is no pressure at my sensitive right ischial. The company claims it will work with you until fitted correctly.

    I have experienced a visible improvement in the general health of my skin. I have read Aquila hype where users (with pressure wound) claim they continue their normal daily activities and actually heal the wound while using said cushion. I am not brave enough to try this, and would not recommend it. All it would take is for the switch to be mistakenly turned off and you will have done more damage. However, I do use the cushion for my weekly visits to the wound clinic and have seen no evidence of additional harm.

    As for a pressure map. I too would like to have one at home.

    Update: after reading some of the old Aquila reviews I felt I should expand on my comments regarding this cushion. I have not used it long enough to give it an endorsement. I have been using it for approximately 4 months. It was my intention to use it while healing my pressure wound but after my first examination by the wound clinic Dr. I decided it was best to stay off my butt completely. I was only able to use a few days before starting on bed rest. Since then I have been using the cushion once a week averaging 4 hours chair time for each clinic visit. When I get home and out of my chair the sitting area of my buttocks always looks healthy and fresh upon inspection. The excellent condition of my skin after sitting all day is what impressed me from the very first day I used the cushion. With other cushions, ROHOS and JAYS, both cheeks would always look faintly colored and show obvious signs of sitting at the end of the day.

    Update 2: disregard my previous comment on the Ease cushion. I confused it with a totally different cushion so I went ahead and deleted the erroneous comment. Sorry for the confusion.
    Last edited by QuadmanJr; 03-31-2016 at 03:51 AM.

  5. #5
    Thanks for the reply, I mistakenly did not have instant notifications set. The vac has healed me beyond my belief! I have goggled wheelchair Cushions until my eyes bleed and after all the conflicting comments I am so confused and can not put out $4300 for a cushion that the company can not provide a representative to properly evaluate my needs. You would think they would have representatives to sell it.
    Thanks and good luck
    "Yesterday's History,Tomorrow's a Mystery"

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk View Post
    Thanks for the reply, I mistakenly did not have instant notifications set. The vac has healed me beyond my belief! I have goggled wheelchair Cushions until my eyes bleed and after all the conflicting comments I am so confused and can not put out $4300 for a cushion that the company can not provide a representative to properly evaluate my needs. You would think they would have representatives to sell it.
    Thanks and good luck
    Have you had your posture evaluated? I had it done as part of my seating eval. It confirmed by suspicion the majority of my pressure is the result of sitting crooked. Adding three lateral supports, left pelvis, lower right rib cage, upper left rib cage, to my chair has made a huge difference.

    I have not finished evaluating my Aquila. As soon as I heal I plan to have the cushion pressure mapped. I want to fine tune it. There are so many variables when it comes to adjusting the settings that a mapping should give me the feedback to find the optimal set up. For anyone not familiar with the cushion's design there are two banks of alternating air cells A and B. On my cushion they are supporting the right and left buttocks respectively. They are composed of air cells and can be adjusted for firmness and cycle time. The cells are tailored for the individuals needs. In my case, after 40 plus years in a wheelchair I am developing curvature in my spine. It twists my pelvis causing excessive downward pressure on my right ischial. The area is easily damaged. This is the fourth time I have had a pressure wound at this location (almost healed!). To prevent pressure the cushion was built void of an air cell at this location. Of course, for this to work successfully the pressure and cycling settings must be correct.

    When my cushion arrived the settings on the controller were completely wrong. After shelling out nearly $5000 I assumed they were already preset and tailored for my needs. I tested it for an hour but was disheartened when it resulted in a red butt. I contacted the company. The owner was the most knowledgeable and helpful. I recommend asking for him to start with. For me, it turns out that the pressure in the air cells has to be high enough for support and to keep the skin pressure free, additionally the cycle time has to be long enough for the circulation to recover. With the correct settings, pressure 4 and alternating cycles every 1.5 minutes, my skin was healthy after a full day.
    Last edited by QuadmanJr; 05-03-2016 at 04:32 AM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by QuadmanJr View Post
    Have you had your posture evaluated? I had it done as part of my seating eval. It confirmed by suspicion the majority of my pressure is the result of sitting crooked. Adding three lateral supports, left pelvis, lower right rib cage, upper left rib cage, to my chair has made a huge difference.

    I have not finished evaluating my Aquila. As soon as I heal I plan to have the cushion pressure mapped. I want to fine tune it. There are so many variables when it comes to adjusting the settings that a mapping should give me the feedback to find the optimal set up. For anyone not familiar with the cushion's design there are two banks of alternating air cells A and B. On my cushion they are supporting the right and left buttocks respectively. They are composed of air cells and can be adjusted for firmness and cycle time. The cells are tailored for the individuals needs. In my case, after 40 plus years in a wheelchair I am developing curvature in my spine. It twists my pelvis causing excessive downward pressure on my right ischial. The area is easily damaged. This is the fourth time I have had a pressure wound at this location (almost healed!). To prevent pressure the cushion was built void of an air cell at this location. Of course, for this to work successfully the pressure and cycling settings must be correct.

    When my cushion arrived the settings on the controller were completely wrong. After shelling out nearly $5000 I assumed they were already preset and tailored for my needs. I tested it for an hour but was disheartened when it resulted in a red butt. I contacted the company. The owner was the most knowledgeable and helpful. I recommend asking for him to start with. For me, it turns out that the pressure in the air cells has to be high enough for support and to keep the skin pressure free, additionally the cycle time has to be long enough for the circulation to recover. With the correct settings, pressure 4 and alternating cycles every 1.5 minutes, my skin was healthy after a full day.
    I have not lately, as soon as I am able I have found a company that will give pressure mapping and recommend the correct solution for me!
    "Yesterday's History,Tomorrow's a Mystery"

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by QuadmanJr View Post
    I found it to be both, the most comfortable and the most uncomfortable, actually painful, cushion I ever sat upon.

    What is the new soft top made out of and how does it work?
    I will agree with you about the Ride being uncomfortable. I have a lot of nerve pain, so at first it was actually painful. But at the end of the day, I'd rather not deal with another pressure sore and sit on a little bit less comfortable cushion. After a month or so my body got used to it and I actually prefer the stability it provides.

    The soft top option is just a cover with another layer of spacer foam which makes it quite a bit cushier. It's still a fairly solid product. Have you tried or evaluated the Ride Designs Java? It's quite similar to the custom in theory but very soft. Unfortunately, they don't make them as small as my chair is.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuadmanJr View Post
    Just curious, how long ago and what model Aquila did you purchase?
    Last year. SofTech.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuadmanJr View Post
    I have not finished evaluating my Aquila. As soon as I heal I plan to have the cushion pressure mapped. I want to fine tune it. There are so many variables when it comes to adjusting the settings that a mapping should give me the feedback to find the optimal set up. For anyone not familiar with the cushion's design there are two banks of alternating air cells A and B. On my cushion they are supporting the right and left buttocks respectively. They are composed of air cells and can be adjusted for firmness and cycle time. The cells are tailored for the individuals needs. In my case, after 40 plus years in a wheelchair I am developing curvature in my spine. It twists my pelvis causing excessive downward pressure on my right ischial. The area is easily damaged. This is the fourth time I have had a pressure wound at this location (almost healed!). To prevent pressure the cushion was built void of an air cell at this location. Of course, for this to work successfully the pressure and cycling settings must be correct.

    When my cushion arrived the settings on the controller were completely wrong. After shelling out nearly $5000 I assumed they were already preset and tailored for my needs. I tested it for an hour but was disheartened when it resulted in a red butt. I contacted the company. The owner was the most knowledgeable and helpful. I recommend asking for him to start with. For me, it turns out that the pressure in the air cells has to be high enough for support and to keep the skin pressure free, additionally the cycle time has to be long enough for the circulation to recover. With the correct settings, pressure 4 and alternating cycles every 1.5 minutes, my skin was healthy after a full day.
    Here's the thing about Aquila, and I've said it before. It may work very well for some people, and I don't discount that. Do you have significant muscle mass on your butt? When you're skin and bones like me, and every time I sit basically ALL the pressure is concentrated on my ITs (seriously, pressure mapping me looks like two dots) I don't see how shifting the air is going to do anything. Take a look at my Aquila pressure mapping images above of the cushion off, and with A and B bladders inflated.

    The whole experience left an extremely bad taste in my mouth. The cushion is not custom enough, if they truly wanted to make a custom super-tailored cushion, they should mold your butt like Ride. For $5,000, I think that's expected. Not a cushion that's made willy-nilly, which is exactly what my SofTech was. After my butt was completely wrecked, the owner said "I think we should start over and make the cushion taller." Oh, really? So everything I put on the order form informing you of my body and its extremely bony status wasn't enough? I had absolutely no desire to attempt to try another one that may injure me even further, considering it took me getting new sores for the owner of the company, who's been building these for 15 years, to realize he designed the cushion incorrectly.

  9. #9
    They do have inside sales reps that are helpful. Also I am pretty sure there is a return policy so I would ask them about that too. Do you go to a seating clinic? they have staff whose job is to evaluate your seating needs.

  10. #10
    Yes they have no return policy of 10% within 30 days, no I don’t have a seating clinic in my area.
    "Yesterday's History,Tomorrow's a Mystery"

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