In the Neutral Zone – Safe Patient Handling Practices

When it comes to safe efficient patient transfers the importance of the neutral zone cannot be overlooked.  There are two zones.  The patient zone, the neutral zone.  The transfer must be done from the neutral zone.  The caregiver can cross into the patients zone for two things, to connect the gait belt and to tip the patients upper body forward.  The caregiver must then return to the neutral zone before initiating the transfer.

If the patient has been correctly positioned, the transfer will require an effort equal to 10% of the patients body weight.  That turns a 200 lb patient into a easy to handle 20 lbs.  Violate the neutral zone and that weight will rise up dramatically to nearly their body weight.  That’s because the leverage has been compromised.