Technological Transfer: Equipment Designed to Help You and Your Patient
Stand-Pivot-Sit … three simple words but very difficult motions to make if you’ve had a stroke, hip replacement, or simply suffer from balance issues.
The acts of standing, pivoting and sitting are the basic mechanics of moving from one seated position to another. These motions represent a major challenge if you cannot easily flex your knees or hips or do not have the strength to support yourself.
If you’re a caregiver, moving a patient from one piece of equipment to another becomes a safety issue for both you and your patient.
According to OSHA Hospital Reports, a hospital is one of the most hazardous places to work. In 2011, U.S. hospitals recorded 253,700 work-related injuries and illnesses, a rate of 6.8 work-related injuries and illnesses for every 100 full-time employees.
This is almost twice the rate for private industry as a whole. Workers Compensation costs in healthcare facilities are among the highest. Even a minor reduction in caregiver injuries can help reduce that cost.
To help make your patient transfers easier and safer, Graham-Field offers a wide range of equipment that can help reduce the strain and risk.
Whether in a healthcare facility or at home, slippery surfaces, small areas, and hard surfaces all combine to make the bathroom a potentially dangerous place. Americans age 65 and older had the highest injury rates resulting from a fall; CDC Fall Facts. In addition to a serious potential injury, the costs related to accidents in the bathroom are significant.
The CDC cites that in 2013, direct medical costs for falls totaled a staggering $34 billion for people over 65, with the average hospital cost for a fall injury being $35,000; Cost of Falls. Since most falls occur while getting in and out of the bathtub and shower, the question becomes; how can we make transfers in and around the bathtub-shower safer?
HELP MAKE BATHROOM TRANSFERS SAFER
One of the simplest and most useful Bathroom Safety Products is a Lumex Grab Bar. During a transfer into a bathtub or maneuvering in a shower stall, several strategically placed Grab Bars can help take the weight and strain off of the patient and caregiver. Lumex Grab Bars will give anyone a more secure handhold while entering and exiting the bathtub / shower.
While a Grab Bar is a useful aid during a transfer into a bathtub, the optimal solution is to utilize Grab Bars along with a Lumex Transfer Bench. Lumex Transfer Benches can be ordered in a variety of configurations including padded, commode seat, and bariatric versions. The advantage of a transfer bench is that it allows a patient to sit down while outside the bathtub, and then safely move over into the bathtub, while being supported throughout the entire move. The built-in support rail can assist the patient in transferring over the bathtub wall, and the patient remains seated during the entire bathing process. The wide base and suction cup tips on the inside legs of the Transfer Bench provide additional stability during any movement while bathing and transferring.
A Transfer Bench can also be used in a shower stall, as it offers the patient a stable seat while being bathed.
THE DROP ARM — SIMPLE BUT EFFECTIVE FOR PATIENT TRANSFER
One of the challenges in transferring a patient is the height and arms of a wheelchair, recliner or bed. Graham-Field has designed a variety of products that feature a drop arm that allows an easier lateral transfer by removing a barrier to that transfer.
Designed for use in a patient room or in the home, a drop arm commode accommodates lateral transfers by having the arm drop down and out of the way. The commode can then be placed next to a wheelchair or alongside a hospital bed at the same height as the commode. The Drop Arm Commode is also available in a Bariatric Version for patients up to 600 lb.
In addition to a stationary commode, Lumex also offers a Transport Commode that features a Drop Arm. After transfer of the patient, The Lumex Versamode can then be moved into a bathroom or shower stall for patient privacy.
Clinical Care Recliner Drop Arm
The Drop Arm Feature is also available on the Lumex Deluxe Clinical Care Recliner with Drop Arm. This clinical care recliner features two arms that drop down within the frame of the recliner to allow easier lateral transfer from a bed or stretcher into the recliner. The arms are even with the seat, enabling the patient to more easily move into the recliner.
SIT-TO-STAND: TAKING THE TRANSFER STRAIN OFF
Many healthcare facilities have “no lift” policies. For patients with some lower body strength, the Lumex Stand Assist Patient Transport is ideal for efficient patient transfers. The Stand Assist Lift can be placed in front of a patient and the seat support can be placed behind the patient for support. This type of lift, while not for patients that require a full body sling lifting device, can be effectively used to transfer a patient from a side chair to a wheelchair or commode.
4 KEYS TO SUCCESS FOR SAFER PATIENT TRANSFERS
- Review the CDC’s Safe Patient Handling Training or any of the web based worker safety material published by OSHA.
- Make sure you have the correct equipment for your patient profiles, e.g., impaired mobility, bariatric, etc., and that you have the correct inventory of equipment to ensure efficient patient transfers.
- Identify patients that will require a patient lift or transfer equipment, ensure the staff knows who these patients are, and ensure they have access to the correct equipment.
- Call your Graham-Field representative if you have any questions about patient transfer / lifting products.
Your Graham-Field rep can provide staff in-services, training, and a variety of products for staff evaluation.
Lawrence de la Haba is Senior Vice President of Business Development at Graham-Field.
About GF Health Products, Inc.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with more than 300 US-based employees, GF Health Products, Inc. is a major manufacturer of healthcare products for the acute care, extended care, homecare and primary care markets. The Graham-Field family of brands includes Basic American Medical Products, Everest & Jennings, Grafco, Hausted, John Bunn, Labtron, Lumex and Lumiscope. Visit www.grahamfield.com or call 770-368-4700.