Seating – Using The Science of Materials To Compare Wheelchair Cushions


Credits: .1 CEU
Presenter: Darren Hammond, PT, MPT, CWS



All cushions are not created equal. Manufacturers use various material mediums and specific design techniques to assist with redistribution of force. Most prescribers recommend a cushion based upon experience of use including advantages and limitations with little knowledge of the load redistribution techniques the cushion utilizes. This instructional webinar will provide participants with an alternative approach to comparing wheelchair support surfaces. A basic overview of scientific mechanisms, and the resulting forces when load is applied, will be discussed. The majority of the program will revolve around the way manufacturers design and construct cushions to provide therapeutic benefit and how this impacts achieving a specific clinical outcome.

Learning Outcomes:

The participant will be able to explain the mechanisms and resulting forces that occur while load is applied to three different cushion materials.
The participant will be able to discuss three different load redistribution methods used in cushion design and construction.
The participant will be able to discuss three clinical situations where different load redistribution methods may be appropriate for individual using wheelchair support surfaces.
The participant will be able to explain three quantifying methods used to compare and contrast cushion materials surfaces.

W. Darren Hammond, PT, MPT, CWS, has held clinical positions as a physical therapist and certified wound specialist in the United States for over twenty-four years. Darren has also held faculty appointments at various Physical Therapy programs in the Philadelphia, PA region, including Drexel University, Temple University and Thomas Jefferson University of the Health Sciences. He is currently the Director of the Permobil Academy and the Clinical Education Manger – West Region at Permobil. In addition to wound care, Darren’s focus of treatment has been in the rehabilitation of individuals with spinal cord injuries. Throughout his career, Darren has had extensive experience with seating and positioning, chronic wound management, pressure mapping and cushion and wheelchair prescription. Mr. Hammond has achieved board certification as a Certified Wound Specialist by the American Board of Wound Management. He lectures nationally and internationally on the subjects of chronic wound healing, cushion and wheelchair prescription, and seating and positioning options.