Therapists recommend the Meridian for individuals with motor and neurological dysfunction due to spinal-cord injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and traumatic brain injury. Therapists value the integral pre-ischial ridge and wedge effect created by the Meridian’s dual chambers.
User and caregivers value its low weight, comfort, and ease of use. No pumps or accessories. No kneading or manipulation.
Air and Foam floatation
Functional areas of the cushion are created by three types of foam: soft foam for the decubitus-sensitive area of the ITs; medium foam for the thigh trough, pelvic bucketing and pre-ischial bar; and firm foam for the perimeter and the medial thigh separator.
Bonding Meridian foam to coated fabric makes the cushion hold air. A valve releases air to immerse the user in the foam, the foam conforms to the user, and the user’s weight is distributed over the surface of the cushion.
Independent research has shown VARILITE Air-Foam Floatation to be the #1 impact and vibration dampening technology (RESNA 2000).
Front and rear chambers permit independent adjustment of the pelvis and thighs, quickly and easily, while the client is seated. The rear chamber allows maximum immersion of the pelvis for better pressure distribution. The front chamber allows maximum loading of the thighs which reduces pressure on the ITs. The Meridian’s dual-chambered design promotes a neutral pelvis position, especially important for clients prone to extensor tone or thrusting. The thigh and pelvic chambers form a pre-ischial ridge which prevents the ITs from sliding forward, preventing a posterior pelvic tilt and sacral sitting. Releasing more air from the pelvic chamber than the thigh chamber provides added postural support by creating dump or squeeze that “holds” the client in place. Additional pelvic positioning can be obtained by combining a VARILITE Wave positioning base with the Meridian.
Positioning supports improve stability, which is important for users with compromised sitting balance or who transfer frequently. Multi-stiffness foam provides support as the user is immersed in the cushion. Medial and lateral supports minimize internal and external lower extremity rotation. Pelvic bucketing and a pre-ischial ridge help maintain pelvic position, and thigh troughs promote a neutral femoral position.
Meridian foam is bonded to four-way-stretch knit fabric for maximum conformity during immersion. The fabric is puncture and water resistant.
Valve for Adjusting Air Volume
The Meridian uses VARILITE two-way air valves. Sitting on a fully inflated cushion, the user opens the right valve and releases air from the pelvic chamber. Optimal immersion is achieved when there is 1/2 inch (13 mm) of air and foam between the ITs and the wheelchair’s seating surface. Immersing the pelvis while the thigh chamber is fully inflated creates a wedge effect that shifts the load from the ITs to the thighs. The user can decrease the amount of wedge achieved by opening the left valve to release air from the thigh chamber.
The Meridian is available with a mesh or incontinence cover with breathable four-way-stretch material. Reticulated foam inside promotes air exchange and improves pressure distribution. The underside is a rugged nonslip material with hook and loop for added security. Meridian cover meets ISO 7176-16 ignition resistance standards for upholstered wheelchair components. Machine washable.
A modifiable closed-cell foam wedge is available as an accessory with each Meridian.
For both Pressure Setting Valve (PSV) and standard valves, begin with the cushion fully inflated and valve closed. Transfer onto the cushion.
For a PSV, turn the valve clockwise until the pre-determined number appears in the indicator window. Air will escape until the valve automatically shuts off (approximately 10-15 seconds). Once the valve has shut off the release of air, close the valve by turning it clockwise. See PSV Operating Instructions for more information.
For a standard valve, slowly turn the valve counterclockwise to release the air. Listen for a change in pitch and close the valve by turning clockwise. Air level is determined by the amount of support or stability needed by the user, comfort, and activity level. See Seating Systems instructions for more information.
The cushion is designed to indent in the sacral-ischial area. The soft, less firm foam of the sacral-ischial area, by design, exerts less “push back” on the cushion fabric than the surrounding firmer foam. See Sacral-Ischial Foam Indentation Explanation for more information.
VARILITE cushions are available in a wide range of widths and depths. We frequently update our size selection to meet the needs of our customers. We welcome your size suggestions for planning future product sizes. Customers tell us that our standard sizes often accommodate customer wheelchairs well. If you need a size that is not currently available, select the cushion that is 1” larger. For example if you wheelchair seat size is 17” x 18”, select an 18 x 18 cushion. The cushion will accommodate the 1” size difference without affecting its performance.
We recommend that you leave the valve open and allow your VARILITE cushion to fully inflate overnight at least once a week to maintain optimal cushion performance and foam integrity. Check your cushion’s inflation level daily to ensure optimal seating and positioning.
If the valve breaks or comes loose, there are two options; we can send you a valve replacement kit (click here for valve replacement instructions) or you may send it to us for repair. See VARILITE Warranty for more information.
Although the bladder of the cushion is puncture-resistant, it is not puncture-proof. If you do get a hole in your cushion, there are two options; we can send you a repair kit (click here for repair kit instructions) or you may send it to us for repair. See VARILITE Warranty for more information.
VARILITE provides a warranty on all new products. Please read the Limited Warranty, Limitations of Remedies and Liability for the U.S. and Canada for more information about the terms of warranty.
If a problem arises with your VARILITE product, please call our Customer Service Department at (800) 827-4548. All warranty claims will be handled promptly.
You can also start a warranty claim with us by filling out the online Return Authorization Form below. Warranty issues are commonly evaluated via photos and to do that, please select “I have a warranty/repair questions” when you start your claim.
If you would prefer to send your product back to us, it will require a Return Authorization (RA) number prior to sending the product in for repair or replacement. To expedite the handling of your return, please follow the guidelines below:
Write the RA number clearly on the outside of the shipping carton.
Fill out the RA form completely.
Do not send cushion covers.
To protect the health of our employees, please clean used cushions before shipping. Soiled cushions will not be evaluated and a $20 handling fee will be charged. Cushions can be wiped clean with a damp rag and sprayed with a disenfectant such as Lysol.
Please refer to the Return and Repair Policy for complete instructions.