Good day everyone! We have recently had a rash of injuries after lifting and moving excessively large patients. I understand lifting technique and body mechanics play a large role and we will be addressing that.
We perform ALS for response with a private commercial EMS transport. I am looking to see what other department utilize to lift and move these patients out of their houses. We have all been on these calls and have struggled. There are so many variables between size, medical condition, working space etc., etc. etc.
What do you use? How many personnel does it take to utilize? Have you or would you predict a decrease in injuries? What alternatives do you see?
We run ALS, our ambulances are always staffed with a crew of (3) we have the lowest workmans comp claims in our state, and we were the only service to run a 3 man crew. Prior to that we had alot of back injuries, and we worked with our municipal insurance carrier to seek training for reduction.
So we run 3 on a bus. On (delta / echo level calls and calls for an obese patient we send a (4) man engine company to assist the ambulance for a total of 7 on scene. I have had some 700+ lbs patients that required a third piece for a total of 11 personnel before. It all depends on the access. Sometimes you can't use that many guys because of space limitations of where the patient is or needs to be moved from/thru.
We use a flexible (Soft) bariatric tarp with multi handles for better grip, we tend to use it for lifting a patient to the cot, or when we need to get the patient out to a larger room that has the cot in it. We have used it as a drag litter accross the floor especially when there is a narrow doorway.
The hospital has been using an air device similar to a hovercraft for patient transfers. They place it on the hospital bed and inflate, then the patient can be easily transferred from bed-bed or bed to xray etc.
Bill (Tap the Box)
The Megamover is an inexpensive way to manage large patients. It is also very helpful when we are maneuvering smaller patients down stairs and around obstacles or tight turns. It works well as a draw sheet when we have had to assist a heavy or immobile patient back into a bed or chair. Because it is inexpensive, we don't have to be as concerned about getting it back and deconing it if it gets soiled in the process.
Generally, the number of folks it takes to operate depends on the size of the patient. We have used as few as two or as many as eight personnel. Since the weight is equally distributed to all carriers, the risk of injury appears to be reduced. I have no data to back that supposition, however.
We have also used it to move cribbing when we have needed to move large quantities quickly. .
We use a mega mover and they are a god send. Great for moving folks around and through tight spaces. We usually use 4 folks on it, but there are handles for 8. They are disposable and get used on a regular basis.