The Man Who Won't Roll

The Man Who Won't Roll

The Australian Occupational Therapist Frances Arnold has conducted a case study on the implementation of VENDLET V4 at 49 the year-old Gavin who has a spinal cord injury.

4. November 2012

Anxious during transfer

Gavin has a C4-5-6 complete spinal cord injury, ABI, weighs more than 130 kg, and has chronic pressure ulcers. Gavin was hospitalized every five weeks due to pressure ulcers. This led to periods of depression.

The staff had low confidence in assisting Gavin to move in bed. There were multiple work cover claims even though different equipment was trialed. Some equipment was not appropriate as it required too much strength from staff; other aids were unable to handle Gavin’s weight. Other times, Gavin found the equipment uncomfortable and it was not effective in distributing the pressure.

The situation had led to Gavin not feeling safe in his routine which meant that he was often in a bad mood. The relationship between Gavin and the staff was strained. The morning routine was stressful for both parties. At the same time, the costs were spiraling and the cost of pressure ulcer treatments were significant.

The implementation of VENDLET meant the following to patient, staff and costs:




  • Smooth turning and repositioning
  • Increased privacy
  • Increased dignity
  • Increased choice and control over routine
  • Increased quality of life
  • Decreased negative self-talk


  • Better physical work environment
  • Simple routines
  • Better psychological work environment
  • Improved interactions with Gavin


  • Less staff needed for Gavin
  • Less time taken
  • Less work cover claims
  • Less pressure sore treatments



Total costs over time



The case study showed that the staff required to care for Gavin was so significantly reduced that the costs of investing in the VENDLET broke even in five weeks!

Frances Arnold concludes with the following remarks about the cost-benefit analysis:

Clinical evaluations of expensive assistive living technologies must include the investments influence on other costs and not just the purchase price.




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