free weighing device for wheelchair users

Dr Denis PICOTa, Mrs Amelie COLINa, Mrs Sophie ACHILLEa, Dr Aurelie DURUFLEb, Dr Philippe GALLIENb, Dr Benoit NICOLASb

a Reseau BreizhPc, b Pole St Helier

The “Breizh PC” network (Cerebral palsy Breizh network) initiates the implementation, in Britain (France), of places of weighing in "open-access" where any person using a wheelchair can weigh, if she wants to, without any assistance, outside off site care. This device is born from a double observation, shared by the different actors in health:

- Knowing his weight and monitoring variations are the best ways to assess nutritional status and to detect anomalies, and correct them. The normal nutritional status of people with disabilities is located within narrow margins of safety: excessive weight gain exacerbates disability, reduced motor possibilities and exposes to the complications of obesity. Conversely, unintentional weight loss can achieve muscle mass, decrease physical forces, inducing deficiencies and lead to undernutrition.

- For a person using a wheelchair, weighing opportunities are very rare. In practice, it’s only possible during hospitalization or consultation in a hospital department equipped with a weighing platform.

Britain Regional Health 1Agency (ARS Bretagne) funded a first balance open access to the Centre CPAM Ille et Vilaine in Rennes. Since November 2014, all persons using a wheelchair can freely access to this equipment whitch represents the 1st link in the realization of the project. After 72 days of opening, on 02.27.2015, this system has been used 75 times, the number of users is estimated at 44 (one user every two days). 18 health settings (Bretagne Health territory No. 5) agree to make available their weighing system for wheel chair. 32 settings have agreed to broadcast a logbook to record his (her) weight and that of the chair, this logbook containing information on the device, the signs that should alert, resources professionals, ... Weighing places in "open-access" help people in wheelchairs to know their weight, promotes self-monitoring of nutritional status and disorders screening.

Keywords : wheelchair, nutrition, weighing system