Let’s get it clear: What makes a good a positioning belt? 3. Closures

Let’s get it clear: What makes a good a positioning belt? 3. Closures

Figure 1: Belt with side release buckle set up for double pull operation

Closure systems need to be selected and situated such that they do not produce a threat of harm to the occupant by digging into soft tissues (e.g. to the stomach or genitalia) or rubbing versus bony prominences. Closure systems need to be positioned where they offer no danger of intruding on moving parts of the wheelchair or seating system.

Postural support gadgets (PSD) require to have a closure system (e.g. hook and loop, buckle) that enables the resident to be safe, and launched from the PSD when needed. The system needs to be easy to protect for both attachment and release, but not responsible to release unintentionally. When tested in accordance with BS ISO 16840-3, the PSDs, in mix with the prescribed closure system, are needed to fulfill the pass criteria given therein.

When picking a belt, the kind of closure used may be the most essential component to be chosen. The kind of closure system picked ought to fit the residents and/or the carers ability to open the buckle, keeping in mind any behavioural, physical or mental problems.

In previous concerns of THIIS in the Lets Get it Clear series, we have covered What makes a great cushion? over six parts. An equally essential part of many seating systems are the postural assistance gadgets (PSDs) supplied with the seating to match the cushion and back support components. This is the third in a series covering PSDs, where we take a look at the design of different closure systems and their cons and pros.

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In the marketplace, theres a variety of PSDs which utilize off-the-shelf buckles which have been developed for usage on other products than positioning belts, with different kinds and instructions of forces, and as an outcome they may not have been checked to, and passed the BS ISO 16840-3 tests.

In this short article, we look at the benefits and drawbacks of a few of the various styles of closure commonly readily available.

Hook and loop closures

In addition, if the grade utilized permits too much sideways slippability under tension, then it will fail the BS ISO16840-3 tests.

Where a hook and loop closure system is utilized, the hook side need to be positioned such that it is not in direct contact with the resident, as it can trigger skin irritation. It is likewise essential to note that hook and loop can be made to different grades of peelability, and different grades of slippability. If the peelability is too easy, the closure will not keep in location, whereas if it is too sticky, though more safe and secure, it will be harder to undo.

The benefits of a hook and loop closure is that it is easy and quick to open up, and also provides for local great modification around various density clothing. The downside to this is that this risks the belt not being done up securely enough. Likewise, the hook parts run the risk of being obstructed up with extraneous materials such as fluff from clothes, which can decrease their capability to attach to the loop part.

Side release buckles

They have the added advantage that the majority of side release buckles can be utilized either for single pull belts or for double pull belts (see Figure 1), where in the latter they provide two times the available length of webbing for tightening up. They are not perfect for people with poor manual mastery or strength, who require to launch themselves from their PSD, as these buckles need a fairly strong pinch action to release. Where the prescriber wishes to include a security function to reduce the capability of the resident from launching themselves from the belts, this can be achieved by the use of a secondary sliding tab which requires to be manipulated in addition to pinching the side release.

Side release buckles, of the type often discovered on back packs, are fairly affordable, and hence rather typical. They can be released single handedly, and present the least risk of unintentional release as compared to other closures.

Press button buckles

Theres a wide choice of push button buckles on the marketplace, some of which will not pass the BS ISO 16840-3 testsdue to their having been developed for other functions and markets. For the normal user, push button buckles are easy to gain access to and operate. However, they are less suitable for some physically impaired occupants who may launch themselves accidentally. The quantity of force to operate the button differs from model to design, and therefore some are much easier to open than others. The simplest ones to leave are those where the tongue release is assisted in by being spring-loaded.

Figure 2: Interchangeable covers with various size holes for a push button buckle to personalize the ease of access

Latch buckles are designed on the buckles discovered on aircraft safety belt (Figure 3), and are appropriate for residents with minimal manual dexterity, however who can put in a pull on the lock. This can be additional assisted by including a belting strap through the top of the latch cover, which can be quickly grabbed hold of. Due to ease of operation, there may be a higher risk of accidental release, though to protect against this, some styles require a higher angle of lift before the buckle is released.

Bodypoint in the US has tackled this with a more refined and less bulky option by offering an option of three interchangeable button covers with a choice of various diameter holes to access the buttons (Figure 2).

For some residents, who are more behaviourally or psychologically impaired, there is a risk that they might jeopardise their security by releasing the buckle at an unsuitable time. This has actually been dealt with by some manufacturers who use slip over security covers with smaller sized holes over the button, which need a pointed device to open the buckle.

Lock buckles

Figure 3: An airplane latch buckle, and a similar action, however more streamlined, style of lock buckle

Swivel buckles

Swivel buckles enable the 2 elements of a PSD to rotate relative to each other. The 2 parts are attached by a locking action and have a push release (Figure 4). Swivel buckles are appropriate where a more vibrant relationship between the components of the PSD is required.

Lock buckles require to be placed such that they can not be inadvertently launched, e.g. by the residents elbow, if the buckle has been put off centre near the elbows natural resting position.

Figure 4: A swivel buckle supplies for a more vibrant belt set up

Magnetic lock buckles

A UK manufacturer, Soloc, has actually likewise created a style– Soloc Solo– which has actually been developed for single-handed application and release (Figure 5). The belt consists of the Soloc magnetic buckle together with a recoiling Presenter Arm.

Magnetic lock buckles have actually been designed for people who find it hard to connect a standard buckle as a result of their limited movement and mastery, such as those struggling with arthritis or hand tremors, and also those who are partially sighted. The magnets in each part of the buckle help the buckle to connect and line up on their own.

Figure 5: Single-handed connection, change, and release of the Soloc Solo buckle

The objective of the Presenter Arm is to hold the stud unit in a fixed position for the occupant to provide the buckle: once the units are combined the internal magnets will help line up and link the 2 systems where the stud is mechanically locked in position.

Belts for easier gain access to

For simpler access to the belts, e.g for those with limited manual mastery, Bodypoint developed the EvoflexR belts which have actually stiffened straps that easily pivot out of the method when you stay and want where you put them (Figure 6a). Transfers are simpler, and the straps wont twist or fall into the wheels, avoiding dirt and damage. The Soloc Freedom supplies a similar center, where the two stiffened arms are brought into the area of each other, and the magnetic lock does up the belt (Figure 6b).

Figure 6: Evoflex and Soloc Freedom belts providing higher freedom of gain access to

BS 8625:2019 Selection, placement and fixation of flexible postural support gadgets in seating. Spec

No two customers are the very same. The choice of kind of belt, and especially its closure, require to be considered carefully to fulfill the clients, and perhaps also the carers, needs. Physical, psychological, and behavioural abilities or impairments all need to be brought into consideration.

Additional products can be found at www.beshealthcare.net. Please contact barend@beshealthcare.net if you are interested in getting additional details on the subject.

References

In conclusion

Dr Barend ter Haar has been involved in seating and mobility for over 30 years, including lecturing globally and developing worldwide seating standards.

BS ISO 16840-3 Wheelchair seating. Decision of static, impact and recurring load strengths for postural support gadgets

Click to learn more from the Lets get it clear series from Dr Barend ter Haar

Related

Postural assistance devices (PSD) need to have a closure system (e.g. hook and loop, buckle) that enables the resident to be secure, and released from the PSD when required. They have actually the included benefit that many side release buckles can be used either for single pull belts or for dual pull belts (see Figure 1), where in the latter they use two times the offered length of webbing for tightening. They are not ideal for people with poor manual mastery or strength, who need to launch themselves from their PSD, as these buckles require a relatively strong pinch action to release. Latch buckles are designed on the buckles discovered on aircraft seat belts (Figure 3), and are suitable for occupants with restricted manual dexterity, but who can put in a pull on the lock. Due to alleviate of operation, there might be a higher threat of unintentional release, though to safeguard against this, some designs need a higher angle of lift before the buckle is released.

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