Moving Patients Doesn’t Need To Be Painful

Try to move a kitchen appliance like a washer or a refrigerator without any type of tool. You may find it is not possible.  Moving a family member may produce the exact same results. The appliance serviceman solves this problem by using a dolly to easily and safely move the appliance, often alone.  The same principle applies to moving a family member. What do these two types of transfers have in common? They both can provide an opportunity to injure yourself or your family member by trying to transfer without tools or training.

Transferring patients manually is difficult and results in literally thousands of injuries every week. A simple solution to this problem was discovered when a Texas man was faced with the choice of continuous back pain from a bad back along with an occasional fall transferring his wife. All the healthcare workers could suggest was to consider transferring his wife to a resident care facility.  Faced with such a choice he discovered the principles that are now known as the Balance Pivot Patient Transfer Method.

We can apply the leverage principle in a way that is very similar to the appliance transfer process. The manual no-lift transfer techniques are used to transfer people feature a gait belt and device known as a lateral transfer plate or simply a secure swivel. The fulcrum is the tibia bone and the lever is the gait belt. Using the balance pivot method requires the use of as little as 10% of the patients body weight. This means a 200 lb man will present a transfer load to the caregiver or approximately 20 lbs.

Otherwise, to tip the see saw (lever) the caregiver will need to apply approximately 20 lbs of force. This force is largely provided by the caregiver’s own body weight so no actual lift is necessary. It is a pivot rather than a lift. Once the patient’s center of gravity is centered the person being transferred is nearly weightless as far as the caregiver is concerned, because the entire patient weight is balanced on the swivel. Only a few pounds are required to rotate the patient the 90 degrees to the now seated surface. Then the steps used to leverage the patient onto his tibia are reversed to return the patient to the seated position.

Remember is not necessary for the person being transferred to have the use of their legs to pivot on them. The lower leg bones act as a fulcrum to transfer the weight. Detailed, step by step instructions along with a check list for home use are available on line in our training center which has a training section, library, and testing center aimed at training people who move people. Discover how to transfer a loved one without transferring stress and strain to both people. The Swivel patient transfer system.