Introduction to the E-Pacer

An inservice by Lori Potts, PT


Inservice Transcript

This is Rifton’s E-Pacer and the concept with this product is to combine features of the TRAM and features of the Pacer. So you will see that the base has the Pacer casters and the Pacer ankle prompts. And then we have the battery powered assist lift of the TRAM.

One newer feature to point out is the switch pole. And this is what will elevate and lower the body support system. You can actually turn this so that it is in easy reach of the caregiver or the client, depending on how you would like to use that.

Then we also have a new battery housing. This is the battery and there is an indicator light. Green is ready to go, orange and red signify that you should recharge the battery. And then there is the safety button as an emergency stop. Just twist that toreset.

Similar to the TRAM we have the ability to widen the base to access a power wheelchair or furniture. And also we have the odometer which is available on the caster. Simply reset to bring that back to zero and then with each session you can record the number of feet traveled.

Other features of the caster that are very important for gait training include a foot activated swivel lock, so that can be released by tapping the front. Then we also have the drag, which is a white on black marking, increasing the resistance as you turn that. And then we have the forward only direction lock which is used in combination with the swivel lock. That would then allow you to go forward but not backward. It has that quiet sound. If you have the swivel lock released you will be able to go backward and you will still have that clicking sound, so be sure to use that in combination with the swivel lock. And then there is the brake.

So the beauty of the base is that it is ideal for gait training. We had heard from our field, regarding gait training, that it was difficult to perform that sit to stand transfer to get clients into the Pacer. So this meets that need by doing the battery powered lift to transfer the individual up into the device for gait training. We also have the ankle prompts to help prevent scissoring and adjust for stride length, which is not available on the TRAM.

In terms of using the body support system, you will use the same thigh straps as you are familiar with from the TRAM, there is the standard size and then the wider size. These attach as with the TRAM on the yellow clips at the front and then will slide under the client’s legs and attach here for that initial seated transfer.

In terms of gait training we offer the walking saddle or pelvic support. This is the largest and we now do offer the hip positioner as well with four rings. That can be attached on these clips. So the E-Pacer has the pelvic support and the hip positioner as your weight bearing assist. It does not offer the new multi-position saddle. So that is a consideration in terms of deciding which gait device for which particular client.

Then we also have upper extremity supports. These attach in the same way as we are familiar with from the TRAM. So these secure onto the attachment here and can be put in a number of positions on either side. So here the arm platform is shown and I’ll just demonstrate the two possible positions here. This is your forward position on the post with a slightly downward angle. Here we have the post back and down and if we spin this forward you can see the comparison of positioning possibilities. You have of course the angle possibility as well. So you can really determine what is going to be most helpful for a particular client or student.

One tip that not all therapist and teachers are aware of, notice how the attachment extends below the body support. In some cases as you perform the transfer this may dig into a client’s thigh. It is possible to use the wing knob on the opposite side to loosen that and simply reverse this position so that it is protruding upward and that can be helpful.

You are familiar with the arm prompt and that is another option. Here we can slide this under the platform, again to vary that position. Here if we spin this forward and slide it back we can position that farther back. So varying your arm position will enable you to assist positioning for the student.

So in terms of sizing I would like to just show you the TRAM and the E-Pacer side by side. Just to point out that the TRAM is a little narrower and it is also lower to the ground. So what this means is that we can actually serve a taller student with this gait training device, because it will raise that much higher off the ground.

The E-Pacer is very favorable for gait training, it has a wider base of support, it has gait training casters. The TRAM on the other hand has a more compact base, lower to the ground, so it is more favorable for transfers. Notice that we can now get the switch pole as an option for the TRAM. This caregiver handle is an option for the E-Pacer. There may be a client where you would want to attach that at the front for gait training purposes or transfer purposes.

Another recent development for both of these items is the smart phone application. This is called the gait tracker app. You will notice that with the scale it is possible to measure the weight bearing of the client because with the pelvic support in place as the client is weight bearing through the ground, that weight is off-weighted from the scale. The more they are weight bearing, you can monitor that progression of development. With a smart phone secured to a bicycle mount as an example this can actually be placed so that the student can see those numbers and be motivated to improve their weight bearing. There is a nice explanation of that both in the product guide and a video (hyperlink) on our website.

All the pelvic supports have the capacity of 350 pounds whether you are using the large, the medium or the small. These are the most commonly used weight bearing assist with the E-Pacer.

Now I would like to take a moment to again just compare the E-Pacer with the new Pacer and here you see the XL Pacer and you will notice that the height adjust is a gas assist. It is not battery powered. So that is one of the key differences, the instrumental difference is that for this individual to move from sitting to standing will require a manual lift assist from two staff as compared to the battery powered lift. In terms of the actual size of the base frame the width is identical, the length is a little bit, slightly longer with this body support system of the E-Pacer. Again the nice feature of the new Pacer is the multi-position saddle. This gives you very specific positioning of the pelvis in terms of forward and back, angle adjust, height adjust which you are not able to achieve with the pelvic support. So here again, if this is highly necessary for your particular student, then this would be the product of choice.

So I believe that summarizes the key similarities and differences between the TRAM, the E-Pacer and the new Pacer and the benefit of the battery powered assist for sit to stand along with the casters and ankle prompts.

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