Safety Guide for Handling Lifting Slings
Author: Nicholas Sutedja Date Posted:28 August 2018
Lifting slings are incredibly useful aids that have helped patients with transfer issues all over the world. They are a powerful means of enhancing care and allowing patients to fulfil tasks on their own and reducing their dependence on others.
With that in mind, it is crucial for care providers to handle their patients’ lifting slings with the utmost caution. There is a significant risk that comes with having to lift any weight above 20 kilos off the floor, and any mishandling can result in injury to patients as well as carers. All caregivers should be fully educated in the proper handling of lift slings to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
At Active Mobility, we have a full range of sizes and styles of lifting slings for sale that are suitable for various applications. We will discuss some important considerations when assisting patients onto the sling:
Read through the instructions carefully
Slings come with different instructions and specifications depending on their stated purpose, with which the care provider must be fully acquainted. Find out the maximum weight that your lifting sling can handle and note specific instructions for different types of mobility issues.
Avoid lifting your patient from the floor
Should the patient fall to the ground for whatever reason, lifting them directly off the floor manually can increase the risk of injury and is not advised. If possible and conditions permit it is preferable, they should be moved first to a chair, bed or any type of platform before being placed directly onto the sling. Care should be taken if a patient hoist is to be used for a floor lift, the patient may be required to roll with assistance to successfully fit the sling and may require some head/neck support with the addition of a pillow to assist with comfort and sling positioning..
Always communicate with patients
Patient safety and comfort should always come first. One way to secure these is by engaging patients in an open and honest communication that allows them to talk about their needs. Work with your patient and make it a two-way process to make sure that they are comfortable in their lifting slings.
Whenever they're on the sling, ask them how they feel and adjust the sling accordingly. Encourage them to be open about their physical condition. If there is resistance, care providers may shift their strategy and determine if there might be an emotional or psychological cause.
Go slow and steady when handling your patient
Care providers must be calm and steady when lifting patients onto the sling. The aim should always be to maximise patient comfort and minimise the risk of harm.
It is advised to go at the patient’s pace and measure every step carefully. If needed, the carer should slow down, take a moment to relax, and work with the patient to complete the process.
Patient comfort is the number one priority in any setting. Lifting slings is one way to achieve this in cases dealing with lifting and transfer issues, but their effectivity wsill also depend on the ability of the carer to properly utilise these aids.
Active Mobility Systems provides a complete set of lifting slings and other mobility solutions for PWDs and the elderly. They are suitable for nursing homes, hospitals and private residences and cater to various needs. We can advise you on which sling is the most appropriate for your requirements.
Contact us today.