Heelift® Glide and Heelift® Suspension Boot FAQs
1) What are the indications for using the Heelift® Suspension Boot?
The Heelift or a heel pressure redistribution device is absolutely indicated on all heels with an existing pressure ulcer, or a history of pressure ulcers at any location in the past.
Pressure redistribution devices are also indicated for high risk patients with two or three of the following clinical characteristics:
- Braden Scalescores of fourteen or less
• Diabetes with neurological sensory deficit
• No palpable pedal pulses
• Age of sixty-five or more
• Paraplegia (any age)
• Acute hip fracture
• Significant nutritional deficits (serum albumin <2.2 g/dl)
• Prolonged immobility (>hours) or coma
• Unrelieved incontinence bowel/bladder
2) What is the Best Practice Usage of the Heelift?
Caregivers going off shift should open the Heelift and inspect the ankle and heel cord (Achilles Tendon) and leave the Heelift open for ventilation. Caregivers coming on shift should close the straps after inspecting the ankle/foot and heel cord.
Have a section removed from the fixed pad with a scissors, or the spare pad can be trimmed back and added to give pressure redistribution to the reddened area.
4) Why does the Heelift come in a smooth and a convoluted foam?
The original Heelift was in convoluted foam for improved ventilation because heat buildup causes patient discomfort. However, edematous legs showed indentations or dimples which caused concern by caregivers and patients. Though the skin indentations caused no harm, it was frightening. The Heelift Smooth has eliminated that problem in the edematous leg, but may be somewhat warmer.
5) Is the Heelift latex free?
6) Why is there a spare pad?
Customization! The spare pad has an adhesive backing. It can be placed on the fixed pad for increased heel elevation in the bariatric patient, or on the outside to control rotation, or placed in the forefoot portion for additional footdrop protection. A wedge can be cut out to relieve the heel cord of pressure. The pad can be cut in half and be applied for more heel elevation and also used for more footdrop protection.
7) Can extra spare pads be ordered?
8) What are the risks of using the Heelift?
The major risk is to the lower calf. All heel pressure is transferred to the heel cord and gastrosoleus complex. The heel cord (Achilles Tendon) has very thin skin and subcutaneous coverage and is susceptible to pressure injury. Close observation is necessary. Should redness (erythema) occur, a wedge should be removed from the fixed pad, or the spare pad applied proximal to the tendon, or a wedge cut out of the spare pad which can then be applied.
9) What is the function of the white low friction backing material on the bottom of the Heelift?
The white tricot material allows the foam Heelift to glide over bed sheets without friction. This keeps the foot firmly in proper position because the foot moves easily over the bed encouraging motion, decreasing DVT risk, and saving nursing time from frequent repositioning of the device. The tricot material does not cover the entire boot in order to avoid heat retention, and to allow the boot to breath better.
10) Can a patient walk in the Heelift?
Yes! Walking does no harm to the Heelift. Because most patients who require a Heelift are disabled, it is recommended that they have assistance to prevent falling. Bed-commode, wheelchair transfers, and use while walking in parallel bars are common. Walking in the room or hall with standby assistance is usually safe.
11) How should the Heelift be cleaned?
- Hand cleaning with antiseptic soap and water, followed by antiseptic wipe or spray to sanitize.
• Machine wash and dry only if in a pillow case or mesh laundry bag with the straps firmly closed over the fixed pad. Leave the spare pad out if not soiled.
• Sterilize by autoclaving. Autoclaving may deform/narrow the ‘D’ rings but the straps will also shrink in width and will continue to fit the ‘D’ rings. It is best to apply the straps loosely for autoclaving.
12) May the Heelift be used on multiple patients?
This is not recommended. Consult your physician or infectious disease specialist about cleaning, sanitizing, or autoclaving.
13) Is the Heelift cost covered by Medicare or Medicaid?
Yes, under code E0191. However, the regional carriers almost never reimburse for prevention, and pay only $11.00 for treatment (sometimes).
14) Does the Heelift come with a guarantee?
Yes, for three months on a single patient.
15) How long does the Heelift Boot last/function?
A Heelift will last from three months to twelve months depending on the activity of the patients or whether it is used on multiple patients (not recommended).
16) How do I determine which size Heelift is appropriate for my patient?
Calf Circumference is 6 inches – 10 inches (15.24 cm – 25.40 cm)
Height Range is 46 inches – 64 inches (116.84 cm – 162.56 cm)
Weight Range is 70 lbs. – 130 lbs. (31.75 kilo – 58.97 kilo)
Calf Circumference is 8 inches – 14 inches (20.32 cm – 35.56 cm)
Height Range is 60 inches – 77 inches (152.40 cm – 195.58 cm)
Weight Range is 120 lbs. – 250 lbs. (54.43 kilo – 113.40 kilo)
Calf Circumference is 12 inches – 23 inches (30.48 cm – 58.42 cm)
Height Range is 65 inches – 80 inches (165.10 cm – 203.20 cm)
Weight Range is 220 lbs. – 600 lbs. (99.79 kilo – 272.16 kilo)
Heelift® Traction Boot FAQs
1) What are the indications for use of the Heelift® Traction Boot?
It is indicated for femoral shaft and hip fractures! The Heelift Traction Boot should be used for preoperativestabilization (Buck’s skin traction) before femoral fracture stabilization surgery. After surgical stabilization, the traction straps are removed, and it is used to prevent/treat heel or malleolar pressure ulcers while controlling external rotation and foot drop.
2) What are the major benefits of the Heelift Traction Boot?
It offers continuous heel and malleolar pressure redistribution. In addition it elevates the leg enough to remove pressure from the peroneal nerve at the neck of the fibula to prevent permanent paralytic foot drop. The spare pad when placed on the outside of the Heelift Traction Boot can help control external rotation on the fractured femur side.
The tricot very low friction backing prevents friction from the bedsheets from interfering with the full effect of the traction. The Heelift Traction Boot is convertible to a Heelift heel pressure redistribution device post surgery for continuous care.
3) How much skin traction (known as Buck’s traction) can be applied?
Up to 10 lbs. is considered safe for most patients.
4) How does the Heelift Traction Boot differ from the Heelift?
The traction boot is longer and has a longer fixed pad to give greater friction between the skin and foam. This keeps the foot and leg in position in the boot when traction is applied.
The traction boot has removable side Velcro® straps attached to the traction bar and rope. After stabilizing surgery the traction straps and bar may be removed and the patient’s heel, leg and peroneal nerve can be kept elevated during the postoperative and rehabilitation phases of treatment. This allows for a continuum of care from the emergency room to the rehabilitation facility to home.
5) Is the Heelift Traction Boot latex free?
6) Why is the Heelift Traction Boot only available in Smooth foam?
This is to maximize the skin/foam friction to prevent migration of the boot under traction.
7) Can the Heelift Traction Boot be cleaned?
Yes, see the instructions for the Heelift Traction Boot.
Elbowlift® Suspension Pad FAQs
1) What are the indications for using the Elbowlift® Suspension Pad?
2) How does the Elbowlift protect the elbow?
3) Does the Elbowlift stay in place?
Yes! The foam-skin friction is much greater than the tricot (nylon) backing on the Elbowlift allowing it to glide over bedsheets without displacing the Elbowlift. The thick foam covered strap can be customized to provide a perfect fit.
4) Does the latex free Elbowlift disrupt intravenous placement?
NO! The strap design allows intravenous placement throughout the entire forearm. If IV placement in the anticubitalfossa is necessary, a segment of the thick foam pad can be removed, and the remaining segments placed on the Velcro® strap.
5) How can I wash/clean the Elbowlift®?
The Elbowlift can be hand, or machine washed/dried. For machine washing and drying it is best if placed in a net laundry bag or pillow case with the strap firmly closed. It can also be autoclaved for sterilization.
6) Is the Elbowlift cost covered by Medicare or Medicaid?
Yes, under code EO191. However, in our experience, the regional Medicare and Medicaid carriers rarely actually pay for it.
7) How long will the Elbowlift last?
The Elbowlift is warranted to last for three months use on a single patient. Replacement within three months is free upon return of the damaged used Elbowlift to us.