(Newswire.net -- February 23, 2013) Miami, FL - No matter where you find yourself in life, you will come into contact with stroke survivors on a regular basis, and to those who are yet to start regarding themselves as anything other than bullet-proof, the symptoms of stroke when encountered suggests a horrifying ordeal.
Ischemic Stroke, the most common kind, occurs when blood flow to the brain gets interrupted by a blood clot. The devastating symptoms are akin to having a major electric short-circuit decimate ones brain, rendering crucial parts of ones bodily functions largely useless, especially speech and movement.
After heart disease, stroke is the biggest killer, even more deadly than cancer. According to the WHO about 15 million people suffer strokes annually, and there are currently more than 40 million stroke survivors. High blood pressure is the dominant cause accounting for more than 12.7 million strokes every year.
Research shows that 72% of post-stroke patients remained wheel chair dependent, while only 28% were able to get around independently with or without an assistive device.
Furthermore approximately 50% of stroke survivors have limited independence and need help from others for daily living.
Of all the assistive aids, wheel chairs are the most crucial with 1,6 million US citizens using them, constituting roughly 0,55% of the population and with approximately 1.5 million manual wheel chairs, 155 000 electric wheelchairs and 142 000 mobility scooters.
The majority of stroke survivors suffer asymmetrical limb functionality and a limited range of joint motion, yet due to affordability most still have to get along with manual wheelchairs.
Using their unaffected arm and leg to propel a manual wheelchair is both embarrassing and painful. It not only causes excessive strain on the shoulders and lower back, but using only the unaffected leg to stamp the ground to steer the wheelchair requires coordinating the leg-stamping speed and hand-rim pushing speeds.
This cockeyed propulsion pattern often causes the wheelchair to wander toward the affected side.
The electric wheelchair is the obvious solution, but due to the excessive size, weight and cost of the average unit, this option presents some major drawbacks and massive societal costs.
Firstly there are the carers, and for them these heavy electric wheelchairs are a major headache. For most the stress, the strain, the physical work of caring for someone in these wheelchairs is tremendous. Added to that, most of the carers aren't spring chickens themselves any longer.
Then you have the huge societal cost to provide special transportation such as ramps, hoists and adapted vehicles for these electrical behemoths. Add to that the huge taxpayer funded subsidies for wheelchair accessible taxis.
In Australia for example, a first world country with an impressive social conscience, only between 5 and 10% of the national taxi fleet are wheelchair accessible.
Mr M.Bagshaw, a frequent business traveller, commented: "I have experienced extensive delays in all capital cities of this country. I have sat at taxi ranks and watched the queue of standard taxis stretch as far as I could see, and waited for over an hour while an accessible taxi made its way to me. This is far from a decent service.
The obvious solution to the specialised wheelchair requirements for stroke survivors would be the advent of a light weight electric wheelchair that could be folded in a jiffy, and which can be taken in the car, train or plane. Finally there is one.
Many vendors are starting to come up with feasible solutions, but thus far only one has nailed it with an ideal travelling electric wheelchair that’s highly affordable, mainly due to high-tech manufacturing methods and an online business model.
Based in Australia, but shipping internationally by courier from their Hong Kong warehouse, the "Portashopper" scoots someone weighing up to 120KG around for approximately 30 Km in a go with 2x feather light on-board lithium batteries.
"There are some great little mobility scooters out there, but due to a limited range of movement, a joystick controlled model is still the wheel chair for stroke survivors." said Mr Hilton Holder, the CEO of Crikeymate Trading.
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