Original Research

The efficacy of the simplified air cushion (SAC) compared to the polyurethane foam cushion with regard to ischial tuberosity interface pressure relief

C. Visser, C. A. Eksteen
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 55, No 4 | a573 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v55i4.573 | © 2018 C. Visser, C. A. Eksteen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 September 2018 | Published: 30 November 1999

About the author(s)

C. Visser, Department of Physiotherapy, University of Pretoria, South Africa
C. A. Eksteen, Department of Physiotherapy, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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This study was initiated in an attempt to compare the Simplified air cushion (SAC) with the Polyurethane Foam (PU Foam) wheelchair cushion with regard to effective pressure relief the study focused especially on the wheelchair bound spinal cord injured (SCI) patient.

Thirty ulcer-free spinal cord injured (SCI) patients participated in this study. Patients were tested on a novice wheelchair cushion, namely the (SAC) as well as on the high-density PU Foam cushion, currently used in government subsidised hospitals. Ischial tuberosity interface pressures were measured under both ischial tuberosities by means of the Oxford Pressure Monitor MK 11 (OPM MK11).

Maximum average pressures on the SAC were 73.60 mmHg and 82.97 mmHg on the PU Foam cushion. The results suggest that the SAC provides adequate pressure relief if compared to the PU Foam cushion. Due to the fact that the SAC is designed on the same principles as other air cushions, it provides a maximum support area which distributes the weight of the patient evenly, thereby lowering peak pressures. The SAC also has the ability to allow air circulation at the body interface, which aids in temperature control.


spinal cord injury; pressure ulcers; ischial tuberosity interface pressure; sac


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