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Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2007 Jan;2(1):59-65.

Equipment and modifications that enabled infant child-care by a mother with C8 tetraplegia: a case report.

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Spinal Cord Research Centre, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, 406 BMSB, 730 William Avenue, Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada R3E 3J7.



In the past, rehabilitative effort after spinal cord injury has focused on maximizing physical functioning related to activities of daily living and self-care, with less emphasis on issues such as care-giving. The number of women becoming pregnant and rearing children after spinal cord injury has increased in recent years, but descriptions of equipment and modifications used in child-care are scarce. Equipment and techniques that enable physical independence in providing infant-care by persons with low-level tetraplegia has not previously been described.


This case report describes the modified equipment and physical strategies used by a mother with C8 tetraplegia to physically care for her young infants. Relevant issues of physical function were identified, potential sources for equipment and techniques were reviewed, and then the equipment and technique solutions were formulated.


Attachment arms and brackets were made so that a lightweight stroller could be attached directly to the mother's manual wheelchair, a crib was modified with sliding Lexan doors so that it could be accessed at wheelchair level, and a table with sides was designed and built to act as a play surface where the mother could independently place an infant. All other pieces of baby-care equipment were commercially available and the mother developed strategies for their use without modification.


With the exception of bathing, using the tools and techniques described, this mother was able to achieve physical independence in providing her children's infant care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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