Lifting and Transfer Devices: A Bridge Between Safe Patient Handling and Pressure Ulcer Prevention



Pressure ulcers and musculoskeletal injuries are 2 of the most common, costly, and yet largely preventable harms encountered in health care. Frequent repositioning protects the patient from pressure injury but is potentially hazardous to staff. In a series of experiments, the pressure-redistribution qualities of a novel bedsheet, designed for dual use as a lifting sling, were compared to cotton or polyester/cotton sheets, either fitted or draped. Each sheet was placed upon 1 of 3 commonly encountered therapeutic mattresses. A human analogue (mannequin) weighing 80 kg was placed on the mattress, and the pressure at the body-mattress interface recorded. The results indicate the lifting sheet has no detrimental effect on the pressure-redistributing performance of the mattress, while the inherent textile properties appear to have superior microclimate (heat and moisture control) qualities while also being soft and flexible. By replacing the hospital bedsheet with a constantly accessible lift sheet, safe practice is encouraged.

Clark M, Phillips L, Knibbe HJJ

Keywords: repositioning, lifting and transfer devices, pressure redistribution, patient handling, sling, pressure ulcer

One time download – from December 2015 issue