Heelift® Glide & Heelift® Suspension Boot FAQs

What are the indications for using the Heelift® Suspension Boot?
What is the Best Practice Usage of the Heelift?
What should be done if erythema is found over the lower leg, heel cord, or malleoli?
Why does the Heelift come in a smooth and a convoluted foam?
Is the Heelift latex free?
Why is there a spare pad?
Can extra spare pads be ordered?
What are the risks of using the Heelift?
What is the function of the white low friction backing material on the bottom of the Heelift?
Can a patient walk in the Heelift?
How should the Heelift be cleaned?
May the Heelift be used on multiple patients?
Does the Heelift come with a guarantee?
How long does the Heelift Boot last/function?
How do I determine which size Heelift is appropriate for my patient?
Is the Heelift® range of products flame retardant?
What are the indications for using the Heelift® Suspension Boot?

The Heelift or heel pressure re-distribution device is recommended on all heels with an existing pressure ulcer, or with patients with a history of pressure ulcers. Pressure re-distribution devices are also indicated for high risk patients with 2 or 3 of the following clinical characteristics:

  • Braden Scale scores of 14 or less
  • Diabetes with neurological sensory deficit
  • No palpable pedal pulses
  • Age of 65 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
What is the Best Practice Usage of the Heelift?

Caregivers going off shift should open the Heelift & inspect the ankle & heel cord (Achilles Tendon) & leave the Heeliftopen for ventilation. Caregivers coming on shift should close the straps after inspecting the ankle/foot & heel cord.

What should be done if erythema is found over the lower leg, heel cord, or malleoli?

Have a section removed from the fixed pad with scissors, or the spare pad can be trimmed back & added to give pressure re-distribution to the reddened area.

Why does the Heelift come in a smooth and a convoluted foam?

The original Heelift was manufactured in a convoluted foam for improved ventilation because heat build-up causes patient discomfort. However, edematous legs showed indentations or dimples which caused concern by caregivers & patients. Although these skin indentations caused no harm, the Heelift Smooth was introduced to eliminate this problem.

Why is there a spare pad?

Customisation! The spare pad has an adhesive backing. It can be placed on the fixed pad for increased heel elevation in the bariatric patient, 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 & applied for more heel elevation & used for additional footdrop protection, or for extra elevation for patients with long limbs.

Can extra spare pads be ordered?

Not at present as there has been no call for this. Should there be sufficient interest, we would consider it for the future.

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 & gastrosoleus complex. The heel cord (Achilles Tendon) has very thin skin & subcutaneous coverage & 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.

What is the function of the white low friction backing material on the bottom of the Heelift?

The white tricot material has a low friction characteristic that allows the Heelift to glide easily, with ease, over bed sheets. This keeps the foot firmly in proper position because the foot moves easily over the bed encouraging motion, decreasing DVT risk, & saving nursing time from frequent repositioning of the device. The tricot material covers only part of the boot in order to improve airflow & avoid heat retention.

Can a patient walk in the Heelift?

A patient can walk to the bathroom & back under supervision to prevent falling. Please note that the heelift is quite a bulky item & therefore standby assistance when not in bed is always recommended. We strongly advise that the Heelift is not used for walking other than bathroom usage. Most patients who require a Heelift are disabled or temporarily bed bound & are therefore not regularly on their feet.

How should the Heelift be cleaned?
  • Hand cleaning with antiseptic soap & water, followed by antiseptic wipe or spray to sanitize.
  • Machine wash & 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. The Heelift can be washed at 72 degrees for 3 minutes or more & takes 2 drying cycles in the automatic dryer the manufacturer uses.
  • Sterilise by autoclaving. Autoclaving may deform / narrow the ‘D’ rings but the straps will also shrink in width & will continue to fit the ‘D’ rings. It is best to apply the straps loosely for autoclaving.
May the Heelift be used on multiple patients?

No the Heelift is designed for single patient use only.

How long does the Heelift Boot last/function?

A Heelift will last from 3 months to 12 months depending on the activity of the patient & care of the appliance.

How do I determine which size Heelift is appropriate for my patient?

The Heelift is available in 3 sizes as detailed below.

Is the Heelift® range of products flame retardant?

The Heelift range of products meets the requirements of CA 117, Section E Flame Retardancy Standards.

The Californian based bureau requires manufacturers to make foam bedding products sold in California flame-retardant. The Bureau measures flame retardance in accordance with flammability standards developed by the Bureau or the United States, Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). Since 1975, the Bureau has developed several flammability standards, called technical bulletins. These performance-based standards do not prescribe the use of flame-retardant chemicals, manufacturing methods, or specific materials to meet the standards. The Bureau encourages the industry to use innovative solutions & products to achieve flame resistance without compromising the environment. Manufacturers must strictly adhere to state and federal laws governing the manufacture & sale of bedding products.

Heelift® Traction Boot FAQs

What are the indications for use of the Heelift® Traction Boot?
What are the major benefits of the Heelift Traction Boot?
How much skin traction (known as Buck’s traction) can be applied?
How does the Heelift Traction Boot differ from the Heelift?
Is the Heelift Traction Boot latex free?
Why is the Heelift Traction Boot only available in Smooth foam?
Can the Heelift Traction Boot be cleaned?
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 pre-operative stabilisation (Buck’s skin traction) before femoral fracture stabilisation surgery. After surgical stabilisation, the traction straps are removed, and it is used to prevent / treat heel or malleolar pressure ulcers while controlling external rotation and foot drop.

What are the major benefits of the Heelift Traction Boot?

It offers continuous heel and malleolar pressure re-distribution. 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 white tricot backing has a very low friction characteristic that allows the device to glide easily, with ease, over the bed sheets. This prevents friction from the bed sheets 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.

How much skin traction (known as Buck’s traction) can be applied?

Up to 10 lbs. is considered safe for most patients.

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 the correct position in the boot when traction is applied. The traction boot has removable side Velcro® straps attached to the traction bar and rope. After stabilising surgery the traction straps and bar may be removed and the patient’s heel, leg and peroneal nerve can be kept elevated during the post-operative and rehabilitation phases of treatment. This allows for a continuum of care from the emergency room to the rehabilitation facility to home.

Why is the Heelift Traction Boot only available in Smooth foam?

This is to maximise the skin/ foam friction to prevent migration of the boot under traction.

Can the Heelift Traction Boot be cleaned?

Yes, please see the instructions for the Heelift Suspension Boot above.

Elbowlift® Suspension Pad FAQs

What are the indications for using the Elbowlift® Suspension Pad?
How does the Elbowlift protect the elbow?
Does the Elbowlift stay in place?
Does the latex free Elbowlift disrupt intravenous placement?
How can I wash/clean the Elbowlift®?
How long will the Elbowlift last?
What are the indications for using the Elbowlift® Suspension Pad?

The latex free Elbowlift is indicated for all elbow skin injuries but particularly to relieve pressure injury. It is indicated for olecranon bursitis and to protect the ulnar nerve.

How does the Elbowlift protect the elbow?

The two columnar pads elevate the arm and forearm thus suspending the skin over the olecranon, olecranon bursa, and the ulnar nerve in the cubital notch.

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 customised to provide a perfect fit.

Does the latex free Elbowlift disrupt intravenous placement?

NO! The strap design allows intravenous placement throughout the entire forearm. If IV placement in the anticubital fossa is necessary, a segment of the thick foam pad can be removed, and the remaining segments placed on the Velcro® strap.

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 sterilisation.

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.

heel up® FAQs

Thank you for your interest in the heel up® range of inflatable pressure offloading devices for preventing & treating heel pressure ulcers. There is additional information together with video clips available on the following website link: www.heelup.co.uk  Emailed or printed copies of this document can also be provided. The list of FAQs below is informative & should answer many of your questions. If there is anything further you would like to know, please contact us.

What are the indications for using the heel up ®?
What is the best practice usage of the heel up®?
What sizes is heel up ® currently available in?
What is the heel up® made of?
What you need to consider when using the heel up®?
Can a patient walk in the heel up®?
How should the heel up® be cleaned?
May the heel up® be used on multiple patients?
Does the heel up® come with a manufacturers guarantee?
How long does the heel up® last/function?
How is the heel up® supplied?
How do I determine which size heel up® is appropriate for my patient?
How do I know when I’ve adequately inflated the heel up®?
How do I inflate the heel up®?
Can the heel up® be used to prevent & treat all categories of pressure ulcers?
Who, in the United Kingdom, is currently using the heel up® range?
What are the indications for using the heel up ®?

The heel up ®is recommended on all heels with an existing pressure ulcer, or with patients with a history or who are at risk of developing pressure ulcers. Pressure re-distribution devices are also indicated for high-risk patients with 2 or 3 of the following clinical characteristics:

  • `Braden Scale scores of 14 or less
  • Acute hip fracture
  • Diabetes with neurological sensory deficit
  • Significant nutritional deficits (serum albumin <2.2 g/dl)
  • No palpable pedal pulses
  • Prolonged immobility (>hours) or coma
  • Age of 65 or more
  • Unrelieved incontinence bowel/bladder
  • Paraplegia (any age)
What is the best practice usage of the heel up®?

Vigilance is key, the heel must always be supported in a protected space. Caregivers going off shift should open the heel up® & inspect the ankle & heel cord (Achilles Tendon) & leave the heel up® open for ventilation. Caregivers coming on shift should close the straps after inspecting the ankle/foot & heel cord in accordance with NICE Clinical Guidelines.

What sizes is heel up ® currently available in?

The heel up ® is currently available in 6 sizes (4 adult & 2 paediatric sizes).

Each heel up ®provides complete heel pressure offloading relief, whilst protecting the Achilles Tendon. We recommend the heel up® short (HU1) for petite adults/ large adolescents who are bed bound or have limited wheelchair mobility. Comes with an additional green strap for securing the device to the leg.

The heel up® medium (HU2) is designed for bedbound patients & comes with a red strap for securing the device to the leg. The heel up® long (HU3) is currently our best-selling size & is designed for bed bound patients & comes with an additional blue strap for securing the device to the leg. The heel up® max (HU4) is designed for larger patients, likely to be in bed for longer periods, and has an increased air chamber. It has a slightly longer heel-toe height of 30 cm, for those with larger feet. It comes with an additional yellow strap for securing the device to the leg.
We also currently sell 2 paediatric sizes – the heel up® kids extra small (HUKXS) & the heel up® kids small (HUKS) for bed bound young children & small adolescents.

What is the heel up® made of?

The heel up® is manufactured using a four-layer material. Two inner layers are made from polyethylene film. The two outer layers are made from a combined polyethylene & polypropylene non-woven material that is skin friendly & moisture absorbent.

What you need to consider when using the heel up®?

When offloading the heel we strongly advise to regularly inspect the lower calf area. All heel pressure is transferred to the heel cord & gastrosoleus complex. The heel cord (Achilles Tendon) has very thin skin & subcutaneous coverage & is susceptible to pressure injury. Close observation is necessary in accordance with NICE clinical guidelines.

Can a patient walk in the heel up®?

We strongly advise that the heel up ®is not used for walking. Most patients who require a heel up® are disabled or temporarily bed bound & are therefore not regularly on their feet.

How should the heel up® be cleaned?

The heel up® is machine washable & has been tested on a 60 degree short cycle. We recommend placing it in a pillow case or mesh laundry bag with the straps folded/closed.

May the heel up® be used on multiple patients?

No. The heel up® is designed for single patient use only.

Does the heel up® come with a manufacturers guarantee?

Yes, for 3 months. The heel up® also comes with a 3 year use-by-date from the date of manufacture. It has been designed, tested & manufactured in Denmark in accordance with ISO 10993-10 skin irritation & sensitisation.

How long does the heel up® last/function?

A heel up® will typically last for a number of weeks (depending on how the device is cared for) & depending on the activity of the patient. The heel up® has been tested with a weight pressure of 150kg over a period of 14 days.

How is the heel up® supplied?

The heel up® comes in a sealed plastic package complete with an oral inflation device, valve patch & spare blue adaptor & is sold individually or in a small dispensing box of 12 units. Currently the heel up® is available for sale from V-M Orthotics Ltd & also via the NHS Supply Chain. If purchasing directly from ourselves there is no required minimum quantity when ordering. If purchasing via the Supply Chain the minimum order value is 12 units (of the same model/size). We also supply a Levabo manual pump which can also be used to inflate the heel up®. As a guide we recommend purchasing 1 x manual pump for each hospital location/ward or 1 x pump for the first 12 units bought.

How do I determine which size heel up® is appropriate for my patient?

The heel up ®is available in 6 sizes as detailed below in our guide.

Model Code Dimensions (Length, Height, Width) Typically used for a:

  • heel up® kids extra small HUKXS 25cm x 15cm x 11cm Toddler/small child
  • heel up® kids small HUKS 33cm x 20cm x 14cm Child/small adolescent
  • heel up® small HU1 32cm x 25cm x 18cm Large adolescent/small frame adult
  • heel up® medium HU2 39cm x 25cm x 18cm Medium frame adult
  • heel up® long HU3 48cm x 25cm x 18cm Large frame adult
  • heel up® max HU4 50cm x 30cm x 18cm Taller/bariatric adult (larger feet)
  • Levabo manual pump LMP 30cm x 5cm (length x diameter)
How do I know when I’ve adequately inflated the heel up®?

The heel up® must not be over inflated, as it is designed to be soft and pliable & not hard for optimal & comfortable positioning. Correct inflation makes the device highly patient compliant. If using the heel up® the heel should be approximately 25mm (two fingers) above the supporting surface for the heel up® short, medium & long & 28-30mm (three fingers) for the heel up® max as a guide.

How do I inflate the heel up®?

Hold the heel up® valve between your finger & thumb, if you have bought the blue Levabo manual pump, insert the pump nozzle gently but firmly & then inflate to the required level. Please note that the heel up® comes with a card sleeve (called stop up®) which falls open & away as the device is inflated to a recommended minimum level. The device should be inflated to a level to suit the needs & anatomy of your patient. If you are using the oral inflation tube that comes free with the product, please attach one end of it to the blue adapter (also included with each device) & gently insert it & blow into the heel up® following the same inflation instructions as above. Our experience has taught us that you can inflate/deflate the heel up® as many times as you like or as/when needed. So please don’t feel you have to get it right first time!

Can the heel up® be used to prevent & treat all categories of pressure ulcers?

Yes the heel up® has been effectively used on the European continent for all pressure ulcer category cases & is  increasingly being sold worldwide where clinical evidence is being gathered.

Who, in the United Kingdom, is currently using the heel up® range?

The devices are currently being used at a number of key Trusts across the UK, where they have been well received,  including Papworth Hospital, Royal Marsden, Eastbourne District General & Conquest Hospitals, Preston Royal, Salford  Royal, Bristol Royal Infirmary and James Cook University Hospital. A number of other Trusts are currently, or are in the process of, trialling the range including: Leighton and Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospitals.

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