VIDEO: How manufacturers are cooling wheelchairs during heatwave


Some parts of the country are expected to reach 36 degrees today, which is a real concern for wheelchair-users prone to overheating.

Now, industry partnerships are working to tackle the problem of overheating and the NHS has begun to show an interest.

wheelAIR has presented a paper to healthcare professionals at the Posture and Mobility Group Conference showing the results of a 12 month trial of the cooling wheelchair cushion on a patient.

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Wheelchair engineer Victoria Curling and OT Suzanna Shari, from NHS Guy’s & St Thomas Wheelchair Services, part of Kings College London Hospital, presented the paper which said the equipment had a successful outcome.

A 52-year-old man with Cerebral Palsy and a variety of other conditions previously needed his clothes changed four times a day due to extreme over-heating and over-sweating. With the wheelAIR cooling backrest he only needs to change once.

wheelAIR’s founder, Corien Staels, said the trial showed a “very significant improvement and one I’m incredibly proud of”.

Several wheelAIR systems have been installed in the UK by Ottobock, Consolor and other providers.

The Glaswegian start-up has received feedback that it has helped prevent heat induced seizures and muscle spasms. Because it is addressing a clinical need, the wheelAIR system has been funded by the NHS on multiple occasions.

Staels commented: “The wheelAIR was present on three stands this year and we’re confident it’ll be more next year. Our mission is to make sure any sort of temperature regulation issues become a thing of the past, for everyone.”

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Joe Peskett

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