Q&A with Mobility Management Editors

Völkner Turning System Provides Nighttime Solutions for Patients & Caregivers

Mobility Management spoke with Ingrid B. James, BSN, MPH, executive VP for James Consolidated Inc., about the Völkner Turning System.

Q: Describe this system's main features and benefits. What are its major functions?

A: The Völkner Turning System offers many benefits to both patients and their caregivers. For instance, it eliminates manual turning every two hours, 24 hours a day and seven days a week, except for personal hygiene and continued treatment of existing wounds -- which heal faster with this Turning System than other modalities.

Among the system's other benefits and features are:

  • It turns patients automatically and gently by changing the patient's position from side to side (lateral rotation).

  • The gentle turning improves pulmonary function by mobilizing pulmonary secretions. Ventilator-dependent patients report reduction in the time intervals of the need for aspiration of accumulating fluids in the tracheostomy.

  • The automatic, frequent turning cycles of the Völkner Turning System reduce or entirely eliminate sleep deprivation for both the patient and caregiver.

  • The unique construction of the air chambers provides zero pressure along the central axis (spine). The air chambers are constructed of high-quality USA nylon polyurethane fabric for durability and are manufactured in California.

Q: What target customer will benefit most from the Völkner Turning System and why?

A: All patients who are unable to turn themselves in bed, and are subject to skin breakdown, pulmonary congestion and sleep deprivation. The benefits extend also to the patient's caregivers and families by preventing back injuries from heavy lifting, and giving them the opportunity to sleep through the night without getting up every two hours to change the patient's position.

Q: How have you made this product "provider friendly"?

A: We've worked hard to make the Völkner Turning System provider friendly. For instance:

  • We have included an instruction and operation manual and/or laminated instruction/operation with each unit.

  • We have made the units easy to install and operate by following those instructions.

  • Once the unit is placed on the bed, the patient's weight and desired turning interval and/or other available functions are programmed into the electronic control unit (ECU = pump). From then on, the ECU automatically and gently turns the patient according to the selected features.

  • There are twelve different models to choose from. Patients weighing less than 300 pounds can benefit from using one of the mattress overlays.

  • Some mattress overlays have pre-set functions only, while other units provide more sophisticated, multiple state-of-the-art functions.

  • The specifications of each model are shown in detail on the volkner.com Web site.

  • The modular construction of the Völkner Turning System permits the adjustment of the length by adding or deleting a number of air chambers. For instance, we supply units for many Hong Kong nursing homes in lengths of 69", 72", 75" and 78" on a regular basis for the past 16-plus years. Our pediatric units are available in three different lengths and widths. And we provide seven custom lengths and widths for bariatric patients.

  • The modular construction further offers extended durability, because replacement parts are exchanged with a minimum of effort and time.

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