Category: Leg Positioner

Sleeping In Comfort System

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---- CUSTOMIZED ADAPTATION --------- PURPOSE: To create a custom adapted system to raise and lower legs at night for an individual with muscular dystrophy. The man with muscular dystrophy began using a ventilator at night and had to start sleeping on his back. He developed severe pain in his knees after three hours of sleeping in this position due to pressure that built up on his kneecaps. The individual was unable to change positions in the night without assistance, and since he lived independently this was not practical. TAD designers created an electronic device to move two cushions on each side of the individual’s body. The cushions were made of a polyethylene film, the type used under concrete to seal against moisture, and the seams were joined by a heat sealer. Under each of the individual’s legs is a larger cushion made from two circles of the film, and a smaller oblong-shaped one that goes underneath the larger one to help it to rotate in the right way to lift the leg. The cushions are attached at one edge to a strap which goes around the mattress. Both cushions are joined to the strap at the same place. The main cushion inflates and starts to rotate, and as the lower, smaller cushion inflates it pushes the larger one and assists with the rotation. To inflate and deflate the cushions, the individual uses a pump that is normally used to aerate water in an aquarium. The pump is modified so that it can suck air in as well as blow it out, enabling both inflation and deflation of the cushions—a necessity as the cushion has to be fully deflated rather than going flat naturally to allow the user’s leg to lay totally flat on the bed. The pump operates continually, with a set of valves which control the direction of air flow. The controller also contains a small microprocessor, which allows the individual to turn the system on and off and pre-set the sides to alternately inflate and deflate at intervals of anything from six minutes to six hours. The system also contains a manual override so the individual can make changes to the cycle during the night if he gets uncomfortable and dim the bedroom lights. The controller has a remote so that the individual can operate it easily once he is lying in bed and has the ventilator mask on. The final touch was some fabric covers for the upper cushions so they would be more comfortable. The original design was modified slightly by the userl’s brother to include the addition of a solid board under the cushions and attaching the straps to that. TITLE: Sleeping in comfort. JOURNAL: TAD Journal. REF: Volume 31, Number 2, Autumn 2011: pp. 6-7. PAGES: 3 with cover.


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Sleeping In Comfort System

Made By:

Technical Aid To The Disabled (TAD)
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TAD is a charity organisation that has the authority to fundraise. TAD uses volunteers dedicated to the design, construction and provision of aids for people with disabilities. Members of TAD provide a resource pool comprising a range of design, engineering, rehabilitation, computer, therapy and other professional and technical skills. Aids custom-designed by TAD volunteers are described in the TAD Journal.

Therapeutic Aids