A ‘Vicair’ – What’s that?
The answer to that question can be short and quite simple ‘a wheelchair cushion’, but we think Vicair is much more than that. Because what we are actually saying each time we use our name is ‘we care’. Derived from the French word for life and the English word for care, our company name literally means that we care about life. Whether it concerns the environment, the people working with and for us or our customers – we care. As a company we dedicate ourselves to supporting life, but we especially care about supporting the lives of many specific individuals out there in the world. Namely those that spend their lives in a wheelchair and this is where the second meaning of our company name comes into play…
What Vicair also stands for is ‘viscous air’, two words that logically speaking don’t mix, which is exactly what makes our cushions unique. Viscous is nothing more than a difficult word for the consistency of some fluids such as syrup. So how do air and syrup relate? The consistency of syrup is what we have created for air through our technology. Syrupy air is exceptionally stable and good at redistributing pressure – the ideal components for high quality wheelchair cushions that are made to prevent pressure ulcers and provide optimal positioning.
We strongly believe that air is the best way to achieve a safe and comfortable seating surface in a wheelchair. Through our technology we also made air stable, providing solutions to seating and positioning challenges. Our primary goal is to make sure all wheelchair users can experience life to the fullest, without any risk to their health
So where did it all start?
Vicair was founded in 1993 and has ever since been working on improving our technology, products and expanding our range.
It all started with an invention by Huibert Pollmann in the Amsterdam Rehabilitation Centre. He believed that in order to sit comfortably in a wheelchair you need high quality pressure redistribution and stability, and he thought air was the best way to achieve this. His vision included separating air into small packages that can move alongside and interlock one another, resulting in optimal pressure redistribution and stability – SmartCells were ‘born’.
Vicair used Huibert’s invention and turned it into a product, and eventually a product range.
Years later, Vicair BV has turned into a world player in seating and positioning products. We are proud of the fact that our SmartCell-filled wheelchair seat cushions and back support cushions can be found in wheelchairs of many individuals all over the planet.
We strongly believe that air is the best medium to redistribute pressure and through our air-based technology we are able to manufacture the most high quality wheelchair cushions for pressure ulcer prevention and stability. Vicair now offers a complete range of wheelchair seat cushions and back systems of the highest quality. Additionally we offer pressure- and pain relief mattresses for those who are confined to bed.
Passing technology on
Vicair’s technology of packaging air and using this to redistribute pressure, is not only applicable and effective in wheelchair cushions. Where the same type of SmartCells are used in the Vicair mattresses to relief pressure and pain, we have also developed different packaging shapes for different applications.
We are very proud that Vicair’s sister company, Maxxcare, has adopted our technology enabling high quality off-loading for pressure injuries, through a superior heel protector. The Maxxcare cells could simple be described as elongated SmartCells, providing the same protection and pressure relief, making them ideal to aid in treating pressure injuries.
Science in seating
Next to using our technology for other products and purposes, we also value validating our technology scientifically and bringing more measurable proof via technology into the field. Vicair’s R&D department continuously conducts studies to improve or test the quality and capabilities of products . We aim to share as much of the knowledge we gain through these studies as possible via our educational program.
Besides exploring the opportunities of our existing technology, we also aim to bring new technology into the market that can help achieve better insights into seating and positioning. One of our biggest achievements is the launch of the very first shear force measurement tool, that until this day is still the only device capable of providing these insights: iShear.
iShear gives insight in the total shear forces that take place in a certain position. Additionally it also shows the shear forces per side (left or right leg) in order to show asymmetries that might need adjustments. iShear provides such valuable insights that we strongly believe that in a couple of years every wheelchair will be set up with an iShear.
At Vicair, we care. Our office and production facilities are manned by dedicated and professional team members. Everyone working at Vicair becomes a part of the Vicair Family, as we all work closely together to achieve optimal outcomes for distributors, dealers and most importantly the end users. Our staff is more than happy to answer any questions you might have, so please don’t hesitate to contact us!
I've use a Vicair cushion for roughly 7 years. This by far is the best one that I've owned in 25 years of being in a wheelchair. Roho & Varilite are both comfortable but their durability with leaks around their filler valve had pushed me away to the Vicair cushion. Durable, comfort & priced right are my reason to purchase this great cushion. I'd recommend this to anyone who has any feeling at all or worried about pressure sores.
With cushion by Vicair I can go everywhere!
António Alberto Fernandes
Ultra lightweight, perfect sore prevent and with a great design.
I have been using a wheelchair for a while now, to get out and about again. After a while I already started to tell Jens Beenhakker that I was not feeling well, no reaction. Vicair has the possibility of a trial period of an anti-decubitus / positioning cushion. I used this and sat like a glove. No tingling legs, less pain in my back and no pain in my tailbone. I indicated this again to Jens Beenhakker, again no response. Through the occupational therapist tried to get the pillow, no result. After a long tug of war whether or not I am entitled to an anti-decubitus pillow, I came in contact with a Vicair adviser via via. I told my story that Jens Beenhakker did not want to provide me with a suitable pillow. And it did not get along with the municipality, while in the meantime a seating area has been developed. Making even more rush. The adviser from vicair sent the pillow (vector o2 - 10 cm) that I had tried with the agreement that we are going to convince the municipality together that I really need it anyway ... or a company that literally does NOT blister let sit unlike Jens Beenhakker and the municipality! Hopefully later I will also get permission from the municipality to keep this pillow. Thanks Vicair !!!! A very hot shower for you!
Great service, no number but just a person :-). And just as important: their pillows are great. I had a lot of spasm in my legs and especially buttocks when I was sitting on a standard foam cushion. Hence my search for something else: tried the active via the try service, was already much better, but did not give the desired result. So sent it back and then tried the vector O2: a relief! Sit wonderfully. And to top it all: can be washed in its entirety! Ideal if it is wet rained or stinks of sweat. If you still have doubts: For more experiences you can always send me a message
Diana de Vos
It has been a few years since I took my first Vicair Vector cushion and it was a relief to finally be able to sit without pain. Since then I can no longer get rid of Vicair. I am sleeping and sleeping on Vicair! Vicair has given me quality of life again, something that I really lost, and they do this on many fronts. Vicair has a personal attention for a "request for help" and excellent service! At Vicair I feel like a person and not the "consumer" who has to meet the standard! Because you don't all have the same body with the same wishes and requests for help. Something that many companies (here in the Netherlands) can learn a lot from! "As a lighthouse indicates the right direction at sea, so on many fronts, Vicair gives me a good direction for life again (without pain)!"
Both in my sports wheelchair and in my daily chair I have a vicair cushion. What a relief when I first sat down on the pillow. I immediately had more balance and was much more comfortable. Really recommended! and due to the different products and individual cells there is always one that is perfect for you!
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