The Impact of Hoist Sling Fabrics on Gluteal Interface Pressure while Sitting in Healthy Individuals: A Controlled Pre-post Test Study



People with restricted mobility, who are hoisted for transfers, are at high risk of gluteal pressure ulcers. Current guidelines recommend the removal of slings between transfers to reduce this risk, despite a limited evidence base. This study evaluates the effect of 3 widely used sling fabrics on interface pressure and comfort while sitting. Following a 6-minute “settling period,” interface pressures were recorded with 54 healthy volunteers at 30 second intervals for 10 minutes while sitting on a standardized chair (control) and then repeated on three different fabric slings (spacer, slipfit, and polyester). Participants’ views were recorded. Results showed 2 fabrics (polyester and spacer) reduced the mean pressure (P < .05), while slipfit had no effect. Spacer fabric reduced peak pressure at the ischial tuberosities (P < .001). In conclusion, prolonged sitting on a sling may not increase pressure ulcer risk, depending on the sling fabric. Further research with people with restricted mobility is indicated.

Mellson J, Richardson N

Keywords: sling fabrics, pressure ulcers, moving and handling

One time download – from September 2012 issue