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Air-Alternating

Wheelchair Cushion
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Current Situation
In Canada, about 25% of wheelchair-
bound patients suffer from pressure ulcers
on the buttocks due to prolonged sitting in
a fixed position.
To prevent the ulcers from forming,
caregivers are required to manually shift
their patients' position every 15 minutes.
This current method entails physical Key Design Features
contact, which often leads to unwanted 1. Air Cushion: Consists of seven air
injuries such as bruises. chambers that correspond to the most
common sites for pressure ulcer
Objective development.
Our main goal is to develop a system 2. Pressure Mat: Lies across the entire
that can automatically shift the weight of a seating surface. Monitors interface
wheelchair-bound patient to reduce the pressure and transmits data to control
pressure build-up caused from prolonged system.
sitting.

What Is Our Design?


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The main concept in our design is a
wheelchair cushion that consists of seven
air chambers that can inflate and deflate
independently. This process is regulated by
a computer that reads the data from a
pressure mat, which lies between the
patient's buttocks and the cushion.

How Does Our Design Work?


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When high pressure is detected in a
particular region by the pressure mat, the
air chambers, corresponding to that region,
will inflate to elevate the patient and shift 3. Low-Noise Air Pump: Provides air for
their weight to a region with lower pressure. inflation and deflation without disturbing
This process will reduce the pressure build- the patients.
up in one specific region of the patients 4. Air Distribution Centre: Connects all
buttocks. the tubes from the air chambers and the
pump. By valving certain tubes, air can
be distributed to the desired air
5 chamber.
5. Control System: Computer that
collects data from the pressure mat.
Analyzes data using an algorithm and
instructs the air pump to inflate/deflate
the chambers accordingly.