Jewell Nursing Solutions Introduces the BackBone™ Turning Wedge Protection Status
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By the WoundSource Editors

Redwood City, CA – July 29, 2016 – Jewell Nursing Solutions is pleased to announce the development of the BackBone™ Turning Wedge, an innovative positioning cushion capable of providing ergonomically correct support without contact to the sacral/coccyx area.

It is well understood that sustained pressure relief is the single most practical and cost-effective intervention to prevent and treat pressure ulcers. The current paradigm is to turn the bedbound patient to a 30 degree angle to offload the sacral area. Nurses are typically limited to only two equipment options for supporting this position; the common pillow or a foam wedge. Both have significant functional flaws, making them inadequate to provide sustained, fully offloaded support. The new design of the Backbone™ Turning Wedge promises to be the first universally functional pressure relief support device for the bedbound patient.

Standard best practice wisdom is in order to achieve an exact 30 degree offloaded position, one must use a foam wedge angled at 30 degrees. In practice, the theory must extend beyond the basic concept to consider how to attain sustained pressure reduction to all bony prominences. A standard 30 degree wedge's ability to provide adequate support and true continuous pressure reduction can be unreliable. The most common problems associated with standard wedge use include slipping or patient shifting off the support such that the sacrum is not offloaded, or they are forced toward their side, causing pressure load to the trochanter.

More insidious issues include the wedge making direct contact with the very area it is intended to avoid, the sacrum, coccyx and spine. Short wedges avoid the sacrum but provide only partial surface area support. Uneven distribution of pressure points can lead to device related circulatory compromise while leaving large portions of the back and hips devoid of support. These complications leave the patient unprotected and less than comfortable. Not only is the patient still vulnerable to pressure ulcers, but the wedge can actually cause pressure ulcers and/or ergonomically related musculoskeletal and neurological damage.

Nurses must constantly repeat repositioning efforts to correct these issues. There is increased labor time and increased risk of injury both to the caregiver and to patient in handling related problems. The end result is a perfect storm for the health care facility of increased costs associated with labor, lift/handling injuries and worst of all, the significant expenses associated with managing pressure related complications and lost reimbursements.

The BackBone™ Turning Wedge is the result of two years of research and development by Jewell Nursing Solutions. Based on the bilaterally angled universal contoured design, The BackBone™ is the only 30 degree wedge available that is capable of conforming to the natural curvatures of the human body while circumventing the sensitive bony prominences of the spine, sacrum and coccyx. The BackBone™ Turning Wedge is designed to provide effective bedbound pressure reduction by serving seven key principals in the physiology of body positioning to minimize skin injury:

  1. Bilateral tilt angle resolves two crucial functional dilemmas: uniform lift for adequate offloading without excessive turn angle and anterior weighted force stability. Cushion fits under the patient, as opposed to the side. Patient's body weight pushes down on the cushion, holding it in place. Unlike conventional wedges that can only support to the side of the patient, causing a lateral force that pushes the cushion away.
  2. Circumvents the most problematic bony prominences; the sacrum, coccyx and vertebral spine
  3. Contoured base conforms to accommodate the natural curvatures of the back and hips. Ergonomic and helps with back pain.
  4. Maximized surface area contact for even pressure distribution and ergonomic comfort.
  5. Single piece and flexible use increases caregiver engagement related to reliability, versatility, convenience and ease of use.
  6. Universality and economic. Multi-patient use in any care setting; OR, CT / MRI / Hyperbaric, Acute, SNF, Home. Multi-position support / float: Heels, hips, knees, elbows, head etc.
  7. Infection and microclimate management: The support is completely enclosed in a soft, antimicrobial, moisture resistant and gas permeable cover. Skin friendly and durable. Easily cleaned with any institutional disinfectant.

For more information on The BackBone™ Turning Wedge, visit

About Jewell Nursing Solutions
Jewell Nursing Solutions is a company dedicated to the prevention of injuries associated with immobility. Their mission is to pioneer effective innovations for bedside patient care. They design ergonomic pressure reduction support equipment and train caregivers on positioning and lift best practices for safe patient handling.

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