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How do you lift a patient by using a floor lift?

What is a Floor Lift: Know the Basics

A patient can be transferred from one surface to another, such as from a bed to a wheelchair, using a device called a floor lift. These lifts are typically seen in healthcare facilities. It utilizes a motorized sling to support and move the person being lifted. Before using the floor lift to lift a patient, it is important to have ample knowledge to operate it. Read on to find out how you can lift a patient using a floor lift.

Quick Facts on Floor Lifts

People who are restricted to wheelchairs and cannot correctly shift out of them using either standing or sliding transfers will need some mechanical lift to enable them to make their transitions. Mechanical patient floor lifts are either manually operated (by hydraulics) or driven by batteries. They use various slings or strapping systems to safely transport and position patients on the lift. A sling, a wheeled base, a vertical mast, a boom, and a hydraulic ram are the components that make up a patient floor lift.

How to Use A Floor Lift

The key to effectively using a floor lift to lift a patient is knowing how to handle it properly. Below are the ways to position the lift and apply the sling.

Positioning the Lift for Use

  1. Utilize the steering handle while the legs of the base are open and secured to allow the floor lift to be pushed into place. 
  2. Reduce the height of the floor lift so that the sling may be attached more easily. 
  3. Swing the patient’s feet off the bed as soon as they no longer touch the bed’s surface. 
  4. Move the lift away from the bed by using the handle on the steering mechanism. 
  5. While the floor lift is being moved away from the bed, the patient should be turned around to face the assistant who is operating the floor lift. 
  6. Either push the down button on the electric control panel in order to lower the patient or open the control valve on the manual or hydraulic panel. This will allow the patient to straddle the pole with his feet resting on the base of the lift. Pull the handle to close the control valve.

Application of the Sling

  1. Roll the patient over onto their back and position the folded sling so that it is behind their back. 
  2. Bring the leg loops before you and tuck them under your thigh. Walk around the loops. 
  3. Roll the base beneath the bed as far as it will go, positioning the cradle, so it is above the person using it. Take caution not to drop the frame onto the patient.
  4. When raising the patient, you should not engage the parking brakes (caster locks); instead, you should allow the lift to move as you adjust the patient’s weight slightly. 
  5. After ensuring that both ends of the sling are securely fastened to the right sides of the cradle, you should raise the patient gradually. When the patient is confined to a hospital bed, slightly elevating the head area of the bed might be of assistance. 
  6. Raise the patient so that their buttocks are parallel to the top of the mattress you are using. The patient will be positioned in a sitting position while using the self-leveling cradle. 
  7. Take hold of the patient’s legs and roll them over so that their feet hang off the bed’s edge. Do not attempt to drag or force the patient out of bed. If you need extra space to move about, lower the bed. 
  8. Get a hold of the steering handles, and pull the lifter away from the bed. Put the patient in a position leaning over the wheelchair seat. 
  9. Check to see that the wheelchair’s brakes are engaged. Assist the patient in getting into a wheelchair or other transfer equipment.


Fitting the Sling from a Lying Position

  1. Transfer the patient onto the sling by the draw sheet, which also ensures that the top of the commode aperture is aligned with the patient’s base of the spine.
  2. After bringing the leg support straps up and between the patient’s legs, continue the process as if the patient were seated, being sure to tie them to the loops that are as short as feasible. 
  3. If the patient is going to be moved to a higher bed, adjust the length of the straps accordingly. This may require moving the patient to a lower surface first so they may be transferred to the intermediate surface.



General Use of a Common Floor Lift

First and foremost, it is essential to ensure that the floor lift is appropriately set up and functioning before lifting a patient. Ensure all straps and supports are securely attached to the patient and the lift. Next, position yourself close to the patient with one hand on the lift handle and one supporting their back or shoulders. Gently lift the patient from the bed or chair, ensuring their weight is evenly distributed on the lift. 

Once in a standing position, slowly move them to their desired location, using your hand for additional support if necessary. When finished, carefully lower the patient back onto their bed or chair before properly storing the floor lift for future use. Using a floor lift is a safe and efficient way to transfer a patient, reducing the strain on the caregiver and the patient. Always follow all instructions and proper technique while operating the lift to ensure successful and comfortable transfers. 

Try Our Floor Lifts Today!

At Impect,  we prioritize patient comfort and safety, which is why we offer high-quality floor lifts for healthcare facilities. After knowing how to lift a patient using the floor lift, it is now time to choose the best kind of equipment. Contact us to learn more about our products and how they can improve the transfer process for both patients and caregivers.

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