Action® Company History

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Action® Premises, Hagerstown, Maryland


The Akton® Polymer

Most of the company’s products are derived from an ultra-soft synthetic rubber-like material, called Akton® polymer. This unique, shock-absorbing material was invented by the company’s founder, Dr. McElroy, in the basement of his home more than thirty years ago. What began as a scientific pursuit to develop padding that would help prevent pressure sores in immobilized patients has today spawned a corporation that sells over 2000 products for hundreds of applications. Its diversified markets include hospitals, home health care dealers and therapists, military and law enforcement agencies, equine and shooting sports and a wide variety of Original Equipment manufacturers.

Wheelchair cushions with pressure relieving properties and bed pads were the first products sold by the company. In the mid-1980s, Action Products expanded its market to include hospital operating rooms. Research indicated anesthetized patients were developing pressure sores during surgery, similar to those seen on bedridden or wheelchair-bound individuals. A product that could prevent such tissue trauma was found to be in high demand. By 1990, the company had designed approximately 50 products for its operating room line. These products include table pads, head pads, chest rolls, patient positioners, paediatric positioners, and specialty surgical frame pads. Today, the product line is over 150 products strong and growing!

The company’s second major line of medical products serves the home health care industry. Besides the standard wheelchair seating and positioning cushions and surface support pads, Action also manufactures heel and elbow protectors, commode cushions and hand exercisers for rehabilitation.

    • Action® Xact Classic

Founded in 1970, this Maryland based company has established itself as a leading manufacturer and distributor of cushioning and comfort products used in the medical and related industries throughout the world.

The shock-absorbing attributes of Akton® polymer present limitless applications for its use that extend far beyond the reaches of the medical field. The material is used in gun recoil pads for hunters and law enforcement personnel, in gloves for jackhammer users, in padding for race car driver seats, and in various pads for horses to prevent tissue trauma. 

Remember Danny DeVito’s penguin suit in the movie “Batman Returns”? That too was made of a thick coat of—you guessed it—Akton® polymer.

The wonder polymer has also been used in a nasal mask to treat sleep apnea, as an absorbent in high energy electron and photon radiation therapy for cancer, and was even attempted in breast prosthesis. Research and innovation remain the hallmark of the company and are the legacy of its founder, Dr. McElroy.