The owners of Raging Bull Medical Supplies says their new exclusive Canadian patent rights will benefit health care professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Sylvan Lakers Braden Watts and Hugh Danielson started the medical supply business roughly a year ago, and say obtaining the rights to the “bull horn” handle wheelchair will help not only their business but health care professionals across the country.
The duo saw the new style of wheelchair in action while visiting the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
Watts said the new design, which includes taller handle bars helps nurses and other staff by cutting down on back and wrist strain.
“Other than the other health benefits, we also believe this style will help to slow down COVID, as it keeps a greater distance between patients and nurses,” Watts said.
With traditional wheelchairs, the one pushing is often hunched over the patient, because they are bigger and heavier. This is where strain and injury to the back and wrists can occur, Watts said.
“You are standing up straight with these, so creating a greater distance between you and the person in the chair. We think it’ll help limit spread [of COVID-19] to the elderly in retirement homes.”
Watts hopes the folding model will be of greater use in senior homes and continuing care facilities.
The “bull horn” handled wheelchair was invented by Centicare Corporation, and Watts said after speaking with them the deal happened “practically overnight.”
Manufacturing of the “regular model” has begun in Red Deer, and a folding variant is being produced in Leduc.
The Central Alberta company says they are in the “testing” phases currently and are trying to get the word out about the new development.
Each regular unit costs $169, and the folding model goes for about $350. Claims can be submitted through Blue Cross, RCMP or Veterans Affairs coverage, according to Watts.
Watts says they are looking for ways to keep the cost of the chairs economical, though materials and machining the equipment is costly.
“It is made of stainless steel, which is expensive and difficult to work with but has a lot of benefits, such as its long life,” said Watts.
The bull horn handles are made from medical grade stainless steal, which will last a very long time, he says.
The installation of the extended handles is relatively easy and is done removing the covers on the existing handles and slipping the steel over top, then securing it with bolts.
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