My name is Louis Cuadra, and I'm the inventor of the Turnwedge.
The original idea for the Turnwedge came to me over 20 years ago, when I was working as a medical wound care representative I was doing in service training at Memorial Hospital, and how to use a specific type of wound care bed used for kinetic therapy. It could turn the patient's body up to 40 degrees. When you have an immobile patient, the standard hospital practice is to manually reposition the patient every two hours. This helps at preventing and treating pressure ulcers, also known as bed sores from forming on the skin.
Bed sores are very uncomfortable for the patient and extremely hard to heal. They extend hospital stays and increase the overall wound care cost of the hospitals. While in training, I continually heard the wound care nurses talking about the importance of repositioning their patients every two hours. Now how they do this is by shoving pillows and blankets behind the patient's back to hold them on their side. Eventually, the pillows would collapse and the blankets would come out of position, and the patient's body would be back on their backs again. It’s that pressure against the body that causes bedsores.
I thought there had to be a better way to do this. So I came up with the idea for the Turnwedge. The Turnwedge is a multipurpose body positioning device used for the prevention and treatment of bed sores and pulmonary complications associated with patients’ immobility. It’s used by healthcare professionals who need to laterally position their patients in multiple angles or turns with minimal pressure to the patient's skin. I decided to make a prototype by cutting up a medical grade piece of foam I had. I showed it to a few wound care nurses who gave me their valuable feedback, and I gradually refined the idea. Today, the Turnwedge is used in hospitals throughout the country. But the funny thing is, after I made my prototype, I just threw it in the closet. I don’t know how long it stayed there—months, maybe? Then I had a friend who came to visit me, gave me a nudge and said, “You need to do something about this.” I'm glad I listened to him. I knew my next step had to be to see a patent attorney and get my idea protected. I took my idea to John Rizvi, The Patent Professor, and the rest is history. My first meeting with John, believe it or not, took place at McDonald's. It was in the early years of his practice. He's come a long, long way since then, and now he works at a 10,000 square foot office building that he owns. He was featured in Inc. Magazine's list of the 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies in America, and made the Law Firm 500 list, too. But one thing that hasn't changed about John is that he's a total pro. Unfortunately, all patents have a shelf life, and mine came to its end. With that said I redesigned the Turnwedge, and made some much-needed improvements in his overall functionality. Once the redesign was complete, I reconnected with The Patent Professor. Since then, I have acquired my design patent, and soon will be finishing with my utility patent. I'm eagerly awaiting to launch my new and improved Turnwedge Pro Care. Once again, it feels so great to bring a concept to life. But it's especially gratifying to know that something that I created it's bringing comfort and healing to so many people every day allowing nurses to work smarter, not harder, while saving hospitals countless dollars on their overall wound care costs.