What Is A Patient Lift?

A Patient lift is a very safe and efficient medical device designed to assist caregivers in pain free and safe patient handling. There are two main kinds of Patient Lifts: a manual, and an electric. A manual is the most basic kind of lift; it features a hydraulic cylinder and a hand pump. While a manual is easy to operate, an electric is even more user friendly. An electric lift offers a battery for power and a wand with controls, for ease of use.

The basic design for the sling lift was patented in 1955, and is still used in the same fashion it was more than fifty years ago. A Patient lift is used by placing a sling, a specially designed piece of material, under the patient. The sling straps attached to the hanger bar and the patient is secured in the lift. The lift then picks up the person, transfers them to the desired location and the reverse steps are followed to unlatch the person from the lift. As of today, there is no technology available to allow one person to move themselves; someone must assist at the time of a transfer.

There are several designs of Patient Lifts available on the market today. While most lifts ordered fall into two main kinds, full body type lift and Stand Assist lift, there are others. There are bath lifts, which are placed into a bath tub, and then the patient can lower themselves into water to bathe. Bariatric lifts are able to support patients up to 600 pounds are becoming more common in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities. There is a swimming pool lift, which lowers a person in and out of an in-ground pool. There is also a ceiling track system, which is installed to move a person from one room to another; or from a bedroom to the bathroom.

There are many benefits to using a patient lift. For one, less people are required to move a patient from wheel chair to bed or vise-versa. The patient needs only one care giver present if the patient has some control over their extremities, otherwise two caregivers will need to be in place for fully paralyzed or non-mobile patients. Patients who are considered obese will also find comfort in being moved with the help of a patient lift. Second, being moved with a patient lift is far safer than having health aids, or care givers moving a patient and possibly causing injury to the patient or caregiver.

Patient care has always been number one in hospitals, nursing homes, and medical facilities. While home care and lift use is on the rise, because of an aging society, there are many applications for patient lifts in the medical community. Making sure that all standards are used and followed correctly, a patient lift is a very effective piece of medical equipment.