New from Curbell Medical Products, the Assistive Control Adaptor (AC-20) and the Zephyr Breath-Activated Call Device aim to provide patients with new levels of independence and self-confidence, while freeing nurses for more critical care functions.

When patients are faced with a severe physical challenge, one of the most important rehabilitation goals is to maintain a positive state of mind. Catastrophic events such as paralysis and severe burns, or debilitating diseases such as ALS, force patients to battle mental challenges along with physical ones.

The AC-20 system gives those lacking fine motor hand control the ability to easily call a nurse, control their TV, adjust the lights and open their shades and drapes. The customizable system is designed to allow patients to use sip-and-puff devices, button switches and other adaptive devices based on their specific abilities. The menu-driven system operates in English, Spanish and French.

The Zephyr helps caregivers control infection with reusable and disposable components; help administrators save consts; and gives clinicians the flexibility to quickly and securely mount the device on multiple surfaces — all in the only UL1069-listed device of its kind (i.e., tested and recognized to nurse call safety standards), a media release from Curbell Medical Products explains.

From Idea to Fruition

Curbell provides nurse-call accessory technology. Its flagship pillow speaker products are used in hospital rooms. So, when a team at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals in Omaha and Lincoln, Neb., had an idea for a new device to help their patients, they asked Curbell to lend its expertise.

“We wanted to develop a technology that would enable our patients to control their hospital room environment right from the moment they entered our doors. Curbell is well-known nationally and internationally as the pillow speaker technology leader, so they were a natural link to take our technology to the global rehabilitation community.”

— Dr. Judith Burnfield, director of Madonna’s Institute for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering

“We took what Madonna had developed, enhanced the design, added some functionality and made it durable enough for the hospital environment. This gives patients full control of their room environment – and helps them stay positive.”

— Curbell Associate Product Manager Jon Knoerl

This positivity is crucial, as discussed in a 2016 study in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology which looked at the impact of psychological factors on people’s ability to recover from injury. It showed that increasing depression levels significantly reduced a patient’s odds of recovery.

Now, the AC-20 system is giving people new and vital degrees of hope.

“This gives patients that first taste of independence. It lets them start to think, ‘Yes, I can do this. What else can I do?'”

— Tabatha Sorenson, Madonna’s Rehabilitation Engineering Program leader

The AC-20 also frees up a hospital’s nurses and support staff to perform more important patient care activities. It leads to greater efficiencies for the hospital and better care for the patient, which can impact everything from operational synergies to patient satisfaction ratings, the release continues.

A Light Wind

Adding Zephyr – which means “a light wind” – improves the system’s affordability and sustainability because its gooseneck, mount and cord are all re-usable via a standard wipe-down sterilization. Its switch-and-tube assembly remains single-use, to prevent contamination between patients, but it’s a substantially less-costly, long-term solution that begins to be more cost effective after only two patients.

“Patients may lose the capacity to control their hands or even voice their thoughts,” Burnfield adds. “Now, thanks to our Curbell partnership, these basic functions can be performed independently by the patient. It provides that first sense of hope for many that they have some control over their future.”

For more information, visit Curbell Medical Products. AC-20 trials are available for system evaluation.

[Source(s): Curbell Medical Products, PR Newswire]