Friday, April 17, 2015

How to Safely Transfer a Patient from Bed to Wheelchair

transfer from bed to wheelchair

Transferring a patient from a bed to a wheelchair can be a challenging process if you don’t take the right precautions. It’s important to make the move properly to avoid any injuries on both the patient’s end and your own. The type of transfer you will use depends on both you and your patient’s strength. For lifting and moving patients, follow these steps and patient transfer techniques:

  1. Gauge Strength- Find out exactly how much strength you and your patient have. This will let you know what you are working with and how much you both can handle.
  2. Position chair next to bed and make adjustments- Make sure the chair is parallel and as close as possible to the side of the bed with your patient’s good leg. You’ll next want to make sure the bed and wheelchair are at the same level. If you have an electric bed, lower the height to make for an easier transfer. Always make sure the chair wheels are locked before you begin any movement.
  3. Get patient into the seated position- After having the patient sit up allow them to stay in that position for a few moments in case they feel weak or dizzy. Plant both of the patient’s feet on the floor to get a sturdy stance.
  4. Position yourself for the lift- Put one of your arms under the patient’s shoulder and the other behind the knees. Bend your knees, and keep your back straight. If a patient has a gait belt, hold onto that for a better grip.
  5. Lift- Count to three and slowly stand up. Have the patient put their arms at their sides and push off the bed.
  6. Placing in the chair- Pivot and turn towards the wheelchair while moving your feet so your back is aligned with your hips. Bend your knees to slowly lower the patient into the chair. Have your patient reach for the armrest for balance. If at any time the patient starts to fall during the transfer, carefully lower them to a nearby flat surface.

An alternative is to take advantage of medical devices. Luckily, there are several medical devices that can aid in transferring patients safely.

Use a Lift:
If you don’t have the strength to lift a patient out of bed yourself, consider investing in a lift device. Battery-powered electric and manual lifts can make the transfer process more fluid and effortless. Using a lift will take both the pressure off of the caretaker and patient, and it will prevent muscle strains for both parties.

Transfer board
A transfer board is used to connect two surfaces - in this case the bed and chair. The flat and long board, usually made of wood or plastic, allows for the use of less upper body strength. To use the bed-to-chair transfer medical device, slide the board underneath the patient and work with them to slide them onto the chair.

Before you begin any transfer process, always make sure to let the patient know exactly what you are doing. Let them know what will happen before each step, so they are aware of how they can work with you during the transition.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Product Spotlight: Hoyer Deluxe Power Patient Lifter HPL402

Hoyer Deluxe Power Patient Lift

When a patient is living with limited mobility, even moving from a bed or chair to a different resting space can prove to be a difficult and time consuming task. For those living in hospitals and nursing homes or receiving at home healthcare, patient lifts are most often used to make this transfer easier by suspending the patient and moving them to another position. From Hoyer, a trusted name in the industry for over 50 years, comes the Hoyer Deluxe Power Patient Lifter, a lifter with features that allow for greater movement and more ease of transfer.

One of the greatest features of this product is the spread on the 6-point cradle that the sling attaches to. The wider spacing prevents any pinching of the patient when they are strapped into the sling, providing greater comfort when being transferred from one area to another. The cradle works with a variety of different Hoyer slings, including both 4 and 6-point slings. For greater comfort during transport, the speed actuator is reverse-mounted to allow for more leg clearance and ergonomic handle grips decrease pressure on the back. The HPL402 also has leg guards and caster bumpers to protect the patient and walls, furniture, and surrounding areas during transfer.

This unit is fairly easy to operate and features both a mechanical down-release lever for non-powered lowering and electronic buttons with “up” and “down” buttons for hand control. An adjustment handle allows the caregiver to widen and narrow the base as necessary. The U-base also has a 5.5” clearance, so it’s easy to roll under a bed or other obstacles when transferring the patient. The Hoyer Deluxe operates using a gel cell battery that becomes fully charged after 6 hours of charging.

With features for comfort and ease of mobility throughout any space, this Hoyer lift transfer device is ideal for anyone that needs to be lifted between beds, chairs and other resting places. Shop this unit at PHC Home Medical Supplies and get it at a fraction of the list price!