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In 1987 the Jameses received a brochure from a relative
involved with medical equipment in Germany. It showed
an innovative, patented, powered mattress overlay
designed by Dr. med. Helmut Völkner, a German
physician, for the prevention and treatment of pressure
system automatically turned the patient
every 4, 5, or 6 minutes, and eliminated
the need for manual turning except for wound
treatment, bowel programs and personal care.
unit consisted of a double row of air cells,
side by side, divided in the center to provide
pressure relief along the central axis of
the body. Two air hoses connected the air
cells to a control unit containing micro-processors
and an air pump. The air cells were enclosed
in a foam-filled vinyl cover. It was lightweight,
modular, and portable. The patient was positioned
on the unit on his/her back on the center
of the unit. The patented design kept any
pressure from being exerted on the patient's
spine. Each side of air cells was then alternately
inflated and deflated, turning the patient
gently from side to side up to thirty (30)
this equipment was introduced in Germany
in 1984 at the Inventor’s Exhibition
in Nürnberg, it was awarded the Gold
Medal for the best invention in its category.
James had been a public health nurse in the San
Francisco Bay Area. Some of the patients she visited
in their homes were bedridden and immobile. They
had to be turned every two hours to prevent pressure
sores. In many cases the patients were elderly,
and the caregiver in the home was the equally
elderly husband or wife.
result of this two-hourly turning requirement,
continuing throughout the day and night, was that
the care-giver as well as the patient, would become
"worn out" due to sleep deprivation
and exhaustion from the demands of caring for
James realized that if the VÖLKNER®
TURNING SYSTEM was made available in the United
States it would be a tremendous boon to immobile
patients and their care-givers. As a result, the
Board of Directors of James Consolidated, Inc.,
decided to investigate the effectiveness of this
unit with the possibility of the company distributing
the equipment in the USA.
this purpose, Ingrid James went to Germany to
meet with Dr. Völkner, the project engineer,
and the manufacturer. More importantly, she visited
hospitals, nursing homes and private homes where
the units were being used. She met with physicians,
nurses, patients, and families to hear what they
thought of the equipment. The response from everybody
was enthusiastic and very positive as to the effectiveness
of this device.
the equipment was introduced to
the USA for clinical testing in
1987, followed by active marketing
in 1989 with James Consolidated,
Inc., as the importer and exclusive
distributor for North America.
The equipment, then named Dr. Völkner's
Lamellar Turning Bed (literal translation
of the German title), was immediately
very successful, with rentals, leases
and sales being made to private
parties and insurance companies.
Clinical tests of the System evaluated
it as one of the most efficient
units of its type on the market.
In fact, it was rated "superior"
in effectiveness to more expensive
specialty beds and mattresses designed
for the same purpose. After successfully
testing several units at its Hines,
Illinois, Rehabilitation Hospital,
the Veterans Administration awarded
a contract in 1991 to James Consolidated,
Inc., to supply the equipment to
VA hospitals and GSA facilities.
The equipment was also approved
for Medicare and Medicaid patients.
is four-way stretch, fluidproof, moisture vapor
permeable and protected against microfungi and
bacteria. It is machine washable or dry cleanable
and flame resistant.
is fluidproof, bacteria resistant (by the use
flame resistant, stain/tear resistant, self
deodorizing, non-allergenic, and anti-static.
patients unable to turn themselves have to be
turned manually every 2 hours day and night to
prevent pressure sores. The VÖLKNER®
TURNING SYSTEM turns the patient automatically
every 5 minutes, or 24 times over the same time
period, allowing the patient to sleep undisturbed
throughout the night, and providing relief to
are no complicated dials or knobs to adjust on
the control units. The patient's weight is adjusted
once on the "comfort control", the units
switched on and from then on operate automatically.
(Lateral Rotation) The right and left banks of
air cells inflate and deflate alternatively, causing
the patient to be automatically turned from side
to side every 5 minutes, relieving constant pressure
on the pressure points and surrounding skin. The
patented design of the Volkner®
prevents any pressure on the patient's spine.
The turning motion has been shown to also help
eliminate pulmonary congestion. The turning movement
is very gradual and patients report no sensation
Pressure: This is the traditional
method of pressure relief. Each alternating row
of air cells inflates and deflates horizontally,
exerting and relieving pressure to the pressure
points. No turning of the patient takes place.
Air Flotation: In this mode, all
air cells are fully inflated and remain so, with
no movement taking place. The patient is supported
on a cushion of air at all times. This mode can
be used for wound treatment, during bathing/personal
hygiene, patient transfers to and from wheelchair,
1996, it was decided to expand the
TURNING SYSTEM equipment line and
to add a full mattress replacement
to the existing turning mattress
overlay, incorporating exactly the
same successful technology used
in the Mark I unit. The height of
the turning air chambers, side bolsters,
and the stationary air mattress
The unit is the VÖLKNER®
TURNING SYSTEM Mark II low air loss
Mattress Replacement. The turning
angle on the Mark II is up to forty
(40) degrees instead of the thirty
(30) degrees on the Mark I Mattress
1998, in response to requests for an even
more cost effective unit to accompany the
TURNING SYSTEM Mark I Mattress Overlay and
TURNING SYSTEM Mark II Mattress Replacement,
TURNING SYSTEM EUROPA™ Mattress Overlay
This has the same high quality construction
as do the other units. It operates in the Turning, Static and Alternating Pressure modes. It is available in 2 versions with either
a vinyl covered two inch (2") foam base or
a two inch (2") static air
base under the turning air cells.
1999, in response to requests from overseas
firms, the VÖLKNER®
TURNING SYSTEM ALPHA™ Mattress Overlay
was introduced. This is exactly the same as
the EUROPA™ except there is no two (2)
inch static air or foam base.
For those situations where only generic Alternating
Pressure units are preferred, a new line of equipment,
JamesAir™, was introduced in 1998, consisting
of JamesAir™ SILVER, a mattress overlay, and
JamesAir™ GOLD, a mattress replacement. Since
that time we have developed additional products,
and will continue to expand and develop new units
as the demand arises.
mattresses and overlays are manufactured in the
USA using high quality material and workmanship,
and are today shipped to countries world wide.
Each product's operating modes and specifications
are described in the "Products" section.
patients suffering from the inability to
move or turn themselves develop pressure
sores on those areas of the body where insufficient
blood is supplied to these areas. This is
due to circulatory impairment that results
in capillary closure.
gentle, gradual, 30-40 degree turning
angle of the patient from side to side
by the patented VÖLKNER®
TURNING SYSTEM exerts less than 26mm Hg
of pressure on the skin tissue.
allows the capillaries to fill, preventing
blood starvation and the formation of pressure
sores. In this way, existing pressure sores
stages I through V can be treated successfully.
Clinical tests have shown that even patients
following reconstructive surgery (skin flap)
have shown faster healing by the use of
time: 10 min. or as Selected)
Air Loss Therapy
patients often suffer serious skin impairment
leading to the formation of pressure sores. By
utilizing low air loss therapy, the patient is
supported by air-filled cells that float him/her,
while at the same time providing a flow of fresh
dry air under the patient.
TURNING SYSTEM, low air loss therapy is accomplished
by allowing a gentle regulated flow of air to
escape from minute, laser sized holes in the air
cells supporting the patient. This air flow passes
upward through the "fluid proof" but
"vapor permeable" quilted four-way stretch
Dartex cover. Any excess moisture contacting the
patient's skin is removed, and the skin is allowed
to regulate itself naturally by evaporation through
the skin pores.
opposed to a regular hospital or home mattress
which often gives uneven support, the VÖLKNER®
TURNING SYSTEM conforms readily to the body. With
the added advantage of "low air loss therapy,"
turning support surfaces have proven to be an
effective adjunct in the treatment of pressure
TURNING SYSTEM was originally designed for the
prevention and treatment of pressure sores, it
has been found that the turning action mobilizes
pulmonary secretions, thereby relieving pulmonary
congestion, a serious complication often found
in patients unable to turn themselves.
has also been observed that many patients using
TURNING SYSTEM achieved an increased level of
emotional and physical well being. This resulted
in better eating habits with an increase in nutritional
intake, leading to faster improvement in pressure
this day and age, with the pressures and trials
of modern society, many individuals, as well as
persons unable to turn themselves, find they have
trouble sleeping. Clinical tests of the VÖLKNER®
TURNING SYSTEM listed as an additional attribute
the fact that the sleep pattern of patients improved
with the gentle turning of the unit.
anyone suffering from sleep deprivation may well
find that the VÖLKNER®
TURNING SYSTEM provides a welcome alternative
to sleepless nights.
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