Safe Patient Handling and Transfer

The Problem:  People are getting injured during the patient transfer process. A close look exposes the issue.  The caregiver attempt to use conventional transfer methods and routinely exceed the safe load limits. This is primarily due to their lack of understanding of the correct manual no-lift safe transfer practices.  The patients are also injured,primarily due to handling errors such as twisting.  The result is that everyone wants a machine to solve the problem.

But there is a problem with relying on machines. First, injuries can result from use of machines in attempting to get the patient positioned for the lift and secondly and more common is, the lack of availability of equipment at the time the transfer needs to occur which results in the caregiver returning to a manual lift which often results in injuries.

Solution:  Train all staff members in the Balance Pivot Transfer Techniques.  The Balance Pivot is a no-lift manual transfer method that reduces the transfer load by 90%. If used in conjunction with a small portable 12″X 12″ secure lateral transfer plate “Swivel”.  This device pivots the load effortlessly resulting in a safe and effective transfer method.  The balance pivot can be accomplished in less than a minute and is suitable for most patients, when performed by a trained caregiver. The small number of patients that are not suitable for this method should be transferred with manual lifting equipment.The expensive manual lift equipment will not be tied up moving the majority of patients that do not require a mechanical lift.

The heavy dependence on the availability of mechanical lifts and the lack of no-lift manual transfer skills has made the staff even less equipped to transfer without the mechanical lift equipment.  If staff were trained in manual no-lift techniques they could speed up the transfer process and reduce the load on mechanical lift equipment.