Latest News

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Flying as a wheelchair user is becoming more accessible with new start-up easyTravelseat

We have partnered up in a new exciting opportunity with local Bristol start-up, easyTravelseat, who are looking to make aviation more accessible for wheelchair users. Part of this for easyTravelseat, is to provide greater choice of seating options for their customers.
 
easyTravelseat Founder and Director, Joshua Wintersgill was diagnosed at the age of 2 with Spinal Muscular Atrophy and is a wheelchair user himself. Josh now at the age of 26, has been lucky enough to do his fair share of travelling. As a result, Josh knows all too well the difficulties associated with the undignified, embarrassing and unsafe transferring as a wheelchair user on and off an aircraft. So back in 2018, Josh sort to look for a solution.
 
He needed to design a product to allow disabled people to be transferred safely, comfortably and importantly with dignity both into and out of aeroplane seats. The solution, an in-situ transfer device after extensive research. Airport staff are able to use the sling’s lifting handles which is simpler for them, as well as being more dignified for the user. In addition, the easyTravelseat is owned by the individual so waiting time for special assistance to provide transferring equipment is eliminated. 
 
A conversation with James Payne, Director of Gel Ovations, allowed him to address an alternative comfort element to the problem, whilst navigating the difficulties of aisle and seat width in aircraft.
 
As a trusted name in the pressure care arena, Gel Ovations’ renowned gel pads are internationally prescribed for use in wheelchairs and in situations where optimum pressure care is required and so provided the perfect solution for Able Move.
 
Our Gel Ovations’ unique Dimensional gel pad can be inserted into the easyTravelseat and on top of an existing cushion inside the easyTravelseat if need be to alleviate pressure on a person’s lower back and seat area whilst sat on the aisle chairs, and aircraft seats.
 
Precision moulded from medical grade silicone, the cellular design of the pad allows air to easily circulate between the cells minimising both heat and moisture build-up as well as allowing for even pressure distribution - reducing the risk of pressure ulcers. 
 
Both of these are important factors given the length of time that someone could be sat in an aeroplane seat and would affect how comfortable the experience could be.
 
James Payne said: “Gel Ovations is proud that this partnership with Able Move is making a difference and opening the world for so many wheelchair users who would have been reluctant to travel before.”
 
Josh Wintersgill said: “We are pleased to have the dimensional pads as part of our broader product offering with the easyTravelseat to clients. The breathability, pressure relief, mouldability and thinness is ideal for some when flying. For us it’s all about customer choice, whilst factoring in the considerations of special assistance, the aircraft itself and airlines.”
 
easyTravelseat, was previously known as Able Move, before it won the UK Disabled Entrepreneurs Awards 2018, ran by the Founder of easyJet, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and the charity Leonard Cheshire and was later snapped up by Sir Stelios easyGroup family of brands post awards, in an investment and brand license deal. 
 
easyTravelseat is continuing its work with airports, airlines, charities and travel agents to help build education and awareness of the product.
 
Josh’s vision for easyTravelseat is: “To be globally recognised within the Aviation industry and become the market leader for providing personal transferring solutions to people with physical reduced mobility by ensuring safety dignity and comfort.”
 
 
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New Sta-Rite Multifunction Forehead Stabiliser is launched

We are thrilled to have launched our new Multifunction Forehead Stabiliser for clients with Cerebral Palsy, Motor Neurone Disease, Huntington’s Disease, Spinal Injury and other conditions requiring cranial stabilisation.

 
Part of our company’s growing Sta-Rite range of rehab solutions, the new unit combines a headrest and multi-adjustable Forehead Stabiliser. It has been designed to provide users with ‘head drop,’ a higher level of comfort and skin protection compared to traditional forehead straps.
Developed in consultation with Occupational Therapists, Rehabilitation specialists and end-users, the new unit has been designed for use in a variety of applications including wheelchairs, shower chairs, and children’s functional seating.
 
The Forehead Stabiliser incorporates our Gel Ovation’s Dimensional Gel Padding for added support and comfort. Encased in an easy-clean neoprene cover, the gel inner core provides cooling, whilst eliminating shearing, friction and pressure.
 
Adaptors are available enabling the client to use the stabiliser with their existing headrest. This is particularly useful when clients are using switches and controls incorporated within their existing headrest. Adaptors available are 1” Ball, ¾” Ball, Whitmeyer and Comfort Company.
The cranial equilibrium maintained by the unit makes the Sta-Rite unit particularly suitable for users who use eye controls to operate their computers and smart devices.
 
Constructed from high-strength light-weight aluminum alloy, the Forehead Stabiliser has been designed to be easily adjusted to the user’s exact physical needs, locking securely in place for maximum user safety and stability at all times.
 
Available in a choice of three standard headrest sizes from 10 inches to 14 inches in length, the stabiliser has been designed to be easily released and flips back out of the way by 180 degrees, for convenient user disengagement.
 
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British Paralympian Karen Darke Powers Ahead with our Dimensional Pads

“There’s an adventure in all of us.” - Karen Darke

We were thrilled when Karen Darke, British paralympic cyclist, paratriathlete and adventurer contacted Gel Ovations looking for a solution to prevent pressure sores.

As a keen sports and action lover Karen knows only too well about how important it is to look after your body and needs pressure care pads when in her car, kayaking or at the beach.

From a young age Karen was a keen runner, climber and orienteer, but fell off a cliff and became paralysed from the chest down at the age of 21.

Karen’s perseverance and support from friends and family, she has successfully become a full-time athlete with the British Para-Cycling Team. Karen was a silver-medallist in the London 2012 Paralympics and became Paralympic Champion in the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

Karen tells us “As well as spending time on my bike or in my wheelchair I regularly fly to Spain for training or travelling long distances in the car.

As I’m very much in to my sport I enjoy taking on all kinds of sporting activities across the world. I have never suffered from pressure sores and this is mainly because I’ve always been proactive and ensure that I don’t put myself in a position where I could get them.

“A friend recommended Gel Ovations so I contacted them to find out about their products and how they could help me. It was important to me to have confidence in a product to make me comfortable each day.”

James Payne, Director of Gel Ovations recommended our dimensional gel pads to Karen, which are used throughout the NHS for the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers.

The special gel also improve tissue viability by providing sedentary patients with a soft, cooling layer of protection, and prevents friction and shearing.

Karen uses a large dimensional gel pad on the seat of her car and kayak placing them in the key areas where pressure sores could occur.

Karen said: “I have recently used the Dimensional Gel pads while kayaking and they have been great! I have also used them in the car and on flights. At first I thought they were quite heavy but this proved to be ideal as the weight of them meant they would stay in the same position when on long journeys, preventing any rubbing.

“I also use the dimensional gel pads when I’m at the beach especially sitting on benches, or rough surfaces like walls etc. I also intend to use them when I go to the gym to when I’m benching and to use in other recreation ways.

“With other makes of gel pads I’ve tried, I noticed gel would leak out but this has not been the case with Gel Ovations.

“ I would definitely recommend these dimensional gel pads to others” As well as her sporting life, Karen is a Spinal Injuries Association ambassador. As part of her support for the charity she is undertaking Quest 79, a series of gruelling global adventures. The aim is to increase awareness of the possibilities of life after spinal cord injury and to raise funds to support SIA’s work.

Visit: http://www.inspireandimpact.com/

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Patients risk of pressure sores overcome

By Danielle Base, Occupational Therapist and Gel Ovations Clinical Consultant

Our latest case study shows just how effective Gel Ovations products are in preventing pressure sores.

 

Medical History/Environment

 

Doris is a lovely 78 year old lady who lives at home. She has Alzheimer’s disease and has 24 hour care at home.  Doris is able to follow clear guidance, but can become agitated at times during the day.

 

Assessment/Issues Identified:

 

Doris has a comfortable and familiar armchair that she sits in during the day. She transfers between chair, commode and bed using a ReTurn with assistance of one. Concerns were identified as Doris slides down her chair during the day and tends to sit on her sacrum.  

 

The carers noted that her skin was becoming very red around her sacral area and she was at very high risk of developing a pressure ulcer.  Carers try to reposition Doris regularly during the day,however she sometimes becomes agitated and refuses this.

 

Doris was provided with a 4” medium risk foam pressure cushion, which did not meet her needs because:

  • The cushion made the seat height too high for Doris, which affected her positioning her chair and increased pressure through her sacrum and ischial tuberosity.

  • The cushion raised the seat height, which caused increased difficulty with transfers using the ReTurn.  Due to the cushion height, Doris’s feet could not reach the floor. Carers had to assist with this, which increased their moving handling.  

  • The armrests height of the chair were also too low, which inhibited transfers.

  • The cushion tended to move/slide down the chair and Doris was at higher risk of sliding out of her chair.

Intervention:

 

A dimensional gel pad was issued.

 

Review:

 

Shearing reduced.  Redness cleared and no pressure ulcer developed.

Dimensional pad stayed in place.  Did not slide on the chair, which reduced Doris’s risk of sliding out of her chair.Transfers improved.  Seat height and armrest height maintained, which made transfers easier with the ReTurn and reduced moving and handling for the carers.

 

Doris continues to use the Dimensional Gel Pad to meet her pressure care needs and reduce her risk of developing pressure ulcers.

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TVS Conference and Expo 2019

MEET GEL OVATIONS AT THE TVS CONFERENCE 2019 (STAND 47)

Gel Ovations Europe will be at the TVS Conference and Expo 2019, held on Wednesday 1st May and Thursday 2nd May at St Mary's Stadium, Southampton.

Organised by the Tissue Viability Society, we will be at stand number 47 so please come and see us to find out more about our Gel Ovations dimensional gel pads. Used throughout the NHS for the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers, our Dimensional Pads improve tissue viability by providing sedentary patients with a soft, coolinglayer of protection. Precision engineered from medical grade silicone, the pads feature a matrix of soft ‘buttons’ which promote airflow, reducing shearing and abrasions.

Gel Ovations products are widely issued by Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Rehabilitation Specialists and Nurses. The Dimensional gel pads are used wherever optimum pressure care is required. We look forward to seeing you at the Expo!

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Tips for Preventing Pressure Sores

TREATING PRESSURE SORES COSTS THE NHS £1.4 MILLION EVERY DAY1

Yet 95% of pressure sores are preventable2Knowing the key ways to prevent pressure sores (also known as bed sores or pressure ulcers) is vital if you, or someone you are caring for, have reduced mobility.

Change positions frequently

Movement is key to tackling pressure sores. If the person cannot get up to move about to exercise regularly, make sure they reposition every couple of hours to reduce pressure on the skin.

The most common places for pressure sores to form are on the bottom, heels, hips, elbows, ankles, shoulders, spine and back of the head.

Someone who spends long periods of time in bed can even develop sores on their ears, so it is vital to look closely at the individual pressure points and regularly check them for any changes to the skin condition.

Remove the pressure

Whether in a wheelchair, seat or bed, constant support is needed to remove the pressure on the skin, as well as to provide greater comfort levels.

We created our Gel Ovation Dimensional Gel Pads to provide a soft, cooling and comforting layer of protection to protect against pressure sores.

Our pads are be used in rise and recline seating, wheelchairs, beds and medical equipment throughout the NHS and widely specified by Occupational Therapists and Nurses, as an essential part of its pressure care regime.

Our clinical gel technicians will custom-form our gel pads to fit the users’ exact body shape and requirements to ensure maximum comfort and protection.

Importantly, the use of our Dimensional Gel pads also speeds up the healing process, if pressure sores have already developed.

Keep skin clean and dry

Pressure sores like moist conditions so the cleaner and drier the skin is, the less likely it is that they will develop. Use warm water and mild soap to clean the skin, and gently pat it dry with a towel to avoid irritating the skin.

We have made sure that all of our products are hypoallergenic, antibacterial, antifungal and are designed to promote air-flow for better ventilation and a cooling effect to tackle this common problem.

Drink plenty of water

Staying well-hydrated gives your skin greater elasticity and stronger resistance to pressure sores, so be sure to have at least two litres of water a day and eat a good, healthy diet to prevent pressure sores from forming.

Find out more about our pressure care products.

www.nhs.stopthepressure.co.uk/
Model Systems Knowledge Transfer Center 
https://msktc.org/sci/factsheets/skincare/Preventing-Pressure-Sores