Repositioning Sheet reduces risk of injury
Categoriesair transfer systems

Patient Repositioning Causes Nursing Injury

Nurses face a high risk of sustaining a patient repositioning injury when working in any department hospital setting, even when practicing even the most common patient handling tasks. The two most common tasks where injuries take place are when boosting a patient up in bed or undertaking a lateral transfer.  Many of the in bed patient care tasks that nurses perform require lifting, pushing, pulling, and holding that can cause injury.  This article will discuss the two most effective evidence based solutions to address repositioning in bed and lateral transfers.

The Risk of Performing a Lateral Transfer

Lateral transfers are predictable and the cause of many injuries to nursing staff, including back injuries, sprains, strains, or tears. These repetitive tasks put nurses at a higher risk for injury and using the old-fashioned draw sheet or plastic slider board don’t do much to make the situation safer.  When using the older low tech solutions like a draw sheet or slider board, friction still exists and nurses have to use excessive force to push, pull, and transfer patients.

Boosting up in Bed is a Nursing Nightmare

Boosting a patient happens countless times a day in every nursing unit in the country. But, this traditionally manual bed-sheet task causes many injuries due to the high rate of repetition, increase in morbid obesity, awkward body posture, friction and other safety factors.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, patient handling injuries among nurses cost almost 1 billion dollars annually, with over 200,000 reported injuries every year. Of course, this isn’t news to nurses. As many as 20% of nursing employees leave direct care positions because of the associated risks.

Reduce Your Risk of Injury

With the use of medical technology, like the breathable repositioning sheet and SPH Medical’s air transfer system, nurses can reduce the amount of staff needed for patient-handling tasks from as many as eight to one or two individuals.

The breathable repositioning sheet is a major step forward in safety for patients and nurses alike.  Designed out of a breathable material the sheet can stay under patients for extended periods of time allowing nursing staff to boost, turn, and transfer patients using an overhead or mobile lift system.  Unlike other repositioning sheets out on the market the SPH Medical breathable repositioning sheet does not have straps going across the underside of the sheet.  This innovative design means less pressure on patients’ skin during their length of stay.  Nurses across the country rely on the SPH Medical breathable repositioning sheet for all day Safe Patient Handling and care.

The SPH Medical Air Transfer System is a single patient use Air Transfer Mattress that is compatible with most manufacturer’s air supplies or blowers.  The air supply inflates the mattress and a thin cushion of air underneath an inflatable mattress, which helps to reduce friction. It is recommended by AORN for virtually all adult patients, even post-surgery.

Air Powered Transfer and Positioning System

Air-assisted transfer systems and breathable repositioning sheets are the gold standard in hospitals now because they directly addresses the patient repositioning tasks that cause hundreds of thousands of nurses to hurt themselves every year. A clinical evaluation from the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses journal found that nurses rated air-assisted systems higher than other methods.

Accessible and Easy to ManageSingle Patient Use Air Transfer Mattress

Single patient use transfer mats keep the unit, the nurse, and the patients more comfortable and safer. Because they are disposed of after patient use, it is easy to track the inventory and there is no need to worry about the laundry system or other procedures that might keep transfer units from being available. The kits can also be kept on-unit so they can easily be used throughout the day.

It’s Better for the Patient, Too

Since the mattress is a single patient use item, the mattress is disposed of which reduces the risk of cross-contamination between patients and the risk of possible infections. It’s safer because they are being transferred or boosting up in bed more gently and staff are using less physical effort.

SPH Medical wants to make nurses’ lives easier by focusing on reducing the risk of nursing injury. A nurse should be able to go home and enjoy her personal time without pain or injury-related medical issues.

Single Patient Use Air Transfer Mat
CategoriesPatient Handling

Air Transfer Systems in the Hospital Setting

Anyone working in healthcare is already well aware of the countless hazards that nurses and other professionals have to expose themselves to so they can provide quality care to their patients. From physical injuries to the risk of disease and infection, medical workers truly put themselves in the front lines for the good of the general public. Every piece of equipment that makes healthcare professionals’ jobs safer and easier is a valuable asset. SPH Medical’s Air Transfer Systems are an innovative transfer mat that’s making the lives of nurses and other physicians’ lives easier, allowing them to go home at the end of the day without dealing with pain or injuries.

Of all the patient handling tasks that are performed in hospitals, lateral transfers are among the riskiest maneuvers. For inpatients, transfers from surface to surface happen multiple times every day. Each additional transfer increases the likelihood of something going wrong and a nursing injury occurring.

To make matters worse, manual transfers often don’t involve enough caregivers to safely move the patient from A to B. What ends up happening in many cases is the use of improper tools like a draw sheet, sliding the patient from bed to gurney with a plastic board underneath. It doesn’t take an expert to understand that this method doesn’t eliminate nearly enough friction to create a comfortable – or safe – experience for anyone involved.

Single Patient Use transfer mats are a simple yet highly effective way of modifying the lateral transfer process to eliminate safety hazards in myriad hospital departments. This includes the ICU, the ER, Surgery, Medical units, Imaging, and countless others.

There were an estimated 294,000 nonfatal work-related illnesses and injuries experienced by hospital workers in 2014. These injuries and illnesses come with a steep price tag for hospitals, putting all the more pressure on administrators to take every possible action to avoid them and protect their employees.

Fortunately, the trend for hospital workers being injured or getting sick on the job has been steadily declining amongst all healthcare industries for the past several years. This good news is likely due to the increased adoption of innovative new equipment like these Single Patient Use transfer mats.

Still, protecting healthcare workers’ safety is crucial because a federal safe patient handling law has yet to be enacted. The only states that have enacted safe patient handling laws or related rules and regulations are California, New York, Ohio, Texas, Washington, Maryland, New Jersey, Minnesota, Illinois, Rhode Island, and Missouri.

A Company Committed to Safety

The main focus of SPH Medical as a company is minimizing the risks that caregivers are exposed to. Their product lines provide innovative new ways to reshape medical practices in a variety of areas and create a safer environment for the professionals working in this field. It’s imperative that the safety of healthcare workers is protected to enabled them to better carry out their jobs of caring for everybody else.

Why Single Patient Use Air Transfer Systems?

The Single Patient Use transfer mat is disposable and thus removes the risk of infections being transmitted in the hospital setting. This includes infections spreading both patient-to-patient and patient-to-physician.

Using a new transfer mat every time also eliminates the risk of a mat wearing down over time and becoming defective. All it takes is one faulty transfer mat to result in a serious repositioning injury, so these Single Patient Use mats eliminate this possibility altogether.

Benefits to Patients

The most important benefit to patients is one that they might not appreciate in the moment unless they’re in the unfortunate situation of things going wrong: safety. When used properly, these types of transfer mats make things go so safely and smoothly that patients are often not even thinking about the potential risks that they’re avoiding.

Those who are on the receiving end of these transfer mats will be able to feel the difference as well. With a design that has the patient in mind and quality materials that are up for the job, Single Patient Use lateral transfer mats make a world of difference in the comfort level of their experience.

The New Air Transfer Systems

Air Transfer Systems are the most innovative and safe method of transferring patients from surface to surface. Using an inflatable mattress, a thin air cushion is created beneath the patient to reduce the amount of friction and smoothly transfer them into a bed or gurney. The result is a weightless experience for the patient, so much so that they’re said to be “floated” from one surface to the other.

Air Assisted Transfer Systems have various applications; from lateral transfers to repositioning bedridden patients. With patients who are unable to move on their own, it’s crucial that they’re repositioned regularly to avoid sores and other health problems. With the help of these new technological innovations, nurses are able to stay as safe as possible while doing these daily work tasks.

Reduce Injuries and Infections with SPH Medials Air Transfer Mat
CategoriesPatient Handling

The Benefits of Air Transfer Mattress Technology

In the United States, hospitals and nursing homes have become deadly businesses. Hospital injury rates, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are approximately double those in all other private enterprises, that is, all non-governmental organizations. For example, in 2016, hospitals reported a rate of 5.9 non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers, compared to 2.9 non-fatal workplace injuries per 100 full-time workers across all industries in the United States. In addition, hospitals have a greater rate of injuries that need time off work than the construction and manufacturing industries. Safety features in friction-reducing devices such as the SPH Medical Air Transfer Mattress reduce the risk of injury to the patient and nursing staff.

Materials and Methods of Safe Patient Handling

The implementation of safe patient handling programs has helped hospitals reduce patient positioning injuries. Because of these efforts, numerous hospitals and hospital systems have witnessed considerable reductions in patient handling injuries. For example, lateral transfer is one of the most common patient-handling tasks. A lateral transfer occurs when a patient is moved from one surface to another, from a bed to another bed or from a bed to a medical cart. Historically, this movement has been done with a small number of staff members, and much of the force is often exerted by caregivers dragging across the surface to which the patient is being transported; hence putting the caregiver at risk of injury, which is most often to the shoulders and lower back. In addition, caregivers perform lateral transfers without knowing how much force is required, putting them at risk of harm. Some of the ways of handling lateral transfers include:

Draw sheet
Simplification of transfer across horizontal surfaces for lateral transfers was traditionally performed with a draw sheet underneath the patient. However, previous biomechanical studies have shown that utilizing a draw sheet to execute lateral transfers exposes caregivers to high spine pressures and necessitates a significant amount of external force. In addition, when employing a draw sheet, the disc’s compression force can surpass the maximum acceptable threshold of 3,400 Newtons, as defined by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.

Friction-reducing devices
Using a friction-reducing transfer significantly reduces the amount of force required while performing transfers. Therefore, some recommended devices include sliding sheets, sliding boards, slip sheets or roller sheets. Although friction-reducing devices reduce the amount of effort required to perform lateral transfers, the overall force is still much more than the acceptable pushing and pulling limitations. Therefore, the ability of friction-reduction transfer devices is limited to minimizing pull forces and spinal force compression. Many of these devices do not adequately reduce risk of injury for some hospital programs.

Air-assisted devices
Air-assisted devices are a form of friction-reducing devices recommended for safe patient handling. AirPal invented this device, but other companies have created their versions of it. HoverMatt, for example, makes air-assisted devices, and since introducing the disposable or single patient use transfer mattress, their business has grown enormously. Air-assisted systems were developed to improve the safety, efficiency, and security of lateral transfers. As a result, air-assisted devices are rated substantially higher by caregivers than any other helpful equipment. Air-assisted systems not only minimize friction but also give support and comfort. As a result, nurses may more easily boost, reposition, and transfer patients, reducing the risk of strains, sprains, and career-ending back injuries for everyone.

Why Is the Air Transfer Mattress Recommended Over Other Friction-Reducing Devices?

With so many lateral patient transfer devices on the market, deciding one is the best fit for you and your institution can be difficult. The air transfer mattress is one of the most popular transfer devices. Air assist technology’s advantages have been thoroughly documented and proved. When the air blower unit is turned on, the air is blown out via the perforated holes in the bottom of the mattress. Friction between the mattress and the adjacent surface is reduced by the force of air passing through these tiny openings. Because there is less friction, the mattress may be moved more easily.

Safety features in friction-reducing devices such as the SPH Medical Air Transfer Mattress reduce the risk of injury to the patient and nursing staff. To improve patient security during transfer, two safety straps are connected over the patient. Disposable protective covers are available for the mattress which helps keep the transfer mattress clean between procedures. The launderable versions of Air Transfer Mattresses are typically water-resistant and free of latex. Another noteworthy safety aspect is that the mattress first inflates around the perimeter before moving on to the center to inflate and lift the patient safely. Thus, it acts as a cradle for the patient and helps to prevent tipping.

Some of the benefits of using an air transfer system include:
Safety and comfort
During transfers, air-assisted technology increases patient and caregiver safety and comfort. With less skin shear and bruising, lateral air transfer provides the patient with improved comfort and safety. The action of intra-hole communication redistributes the pull/push forces uniformly for a safe and easy transmission.
Stable positioning
The patient is moved into a more secure position by the inflated mattress, which reduces skin shear and bruising. Caregivers may securely move patients without lifting or straining since the mattress and the patient float on a cushion of air. By practically reducing lateral transfers and repositioning-related accidents.
It’s designed to withstand repeated applications and the toughest transfers for a wide range of patient characteristics. For artifact-free imaging, it’s radiolucent and MRI compatible.
Available in a variety of shapes and widths, with a weight restriction of 1200 pounds to fit most patients. The proprietary technology profiles and self-adjusts to each patient automatically. This allows for a balanced redistribution of the patient’s body weight, resulting in the safest and simplest patient transfer possible.
Significant cost savings
Previously, a significant amount of money was spent on various lateral transfers mechanisms, which were expensive and difficult to keep the appropriate supply on hand. The SPH Medical Lateral Transfer Mattress is a more cost effective option allowing the necessary inventory to be kept on hand to help reduce staff injuries.

Additionally, when you use an air transfer system, the additional expenditures of bearing direct cost of injury are considerably reduced. While satisfying statutory criteria for safe patient care, the Air Transfer System considerably aids in staff retention, improvement in staff morale, and improvement in overall efficiency of patient care and patient throughput for busy surgical departments.
Infection protection
SPH Medical offers a full range of single patient use, launderable and reusable Air Transfer Mattresses in various shapes and sizes that are all compatible with the most common air supplies on the market. The complete Air Transfer System includes the Air Transfer Mattress, an air supply with hose and power cord, and an optional transport stand. For Hospitals that are focused on reducing hospital acquired infections, the single patient use Air Transfer Mattresses have been the most common version implemented. Reducing infections and workplace injuries together is a win-win for everyone.

Contact SPH Medical to discuss reducing risk of injury to staff and patients in your facility.

CategoriesPatient Handling

Air Transfer Mat Solves Lateral Transfer and Positioning Risk in Hospitals

Solving Lateral Transfer and Positioning Risk in Hospitals

Nurses, certified nursing assistants, and other healthcare workers constantly move, transfer, and reposition patients and residents during their workdays. Needless to say, the repetitive lifting and moving of people to and from beds, chairs and bathtubs can wreak havoc on caregivers’ health. Today, mechanical lift aids, an air transfer mat and other technologies help reduce the risk of injuries to caregivers and patients alike. However, many facilities continue to transfer and position patients manually, assuming that draw sheets and other methods are safe enough. In reality, lateral transfers cause countless repositioning injuries and other nursing injuries every year.

Increased Risk of Injury from Manual Patient Handling Tasks

Patients and healthcare workers alike are often injured during manual patient handling tasks, including when transferring patients laterally from point to point. According to OSHA, healthcare workers are seven times as likely to develop musculoskeletal disorders than workers in other industries. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare workers face among the highest rates of musculoskeletal injury from overexertion. Across all industries, 33 of every 10,000 workers face such risks; in the healthcare industry, 68 of every 10,000 workers do. Additionally, patients are at increased risk of injury from such transfers and other activities. Every year, approximately 440,000 hospital patients die from hospital errors, injuries, accidents and infections, and Medicare patients have a one in four chance of being injured, harmed or killed after being admitted to the hospital.

Risks to Patients

Total care patients – those who are completely immobile and unable to move– must be moved, transferred and repositioned continually by caregivers. Throughout the day, they may be moved from toilet to chair, chair to bed, bathtub to chair and to and from other areas of a facility. Additionally, such patients must be moved from side to side in bed, lifted back up after slipping down in bed and even moved around while their beds are being made.

Every time a healthcare worker manually transfers a patient, they face an increased risk of being injured. Caregivers must often maneuver them from awkward angles and positions, increasing the risk of mishaps. The process is often uncomfortable for patients at the very least, making them dread any time they must be moved and making life more stressful in general.

Risks to Healthcare Workers

Healthcare workers bear the brunt of the risk of injury when laterally transferring patients without the aid of advanced technologies. Because of the obesity epidemic, patients are larger than ever, further increasing the risk of injury. Manual patient handling tasks contribute to countless injuries and chronic conditions among healthcare workers every year, including sprains, strains and slipped disks. Over time, injuries to the low back and shoulders often develop in those who must repetitively move and transfer patients.

According to research performed by Dr. William Marras of Ohio State’s Spine Research Institute, vertebral discs are avascular and depend upon the vertebrae above and below for nourishment and to remain healthy. Due to overexertion, small microfractures in the vertebral discs develop over time and prevent the disc from receiving the required nourishment. Continued overexertion then may result in a severe or career ending back injury. A seemingly “safe” manual patient handling task like a lateral transfer may just be the proverbial straw that broke the camels back.

Hospitals and other facilities face increased costs because of overexertion and injury among nurses and other healthcare professionals, including disability reimbursements and medical expenses. Injuries from manual patient handling cause higher turnover rates and increased absenteeism among healthcare workers. One study revealed that up to 20% of nurses who leave the industry do so because of the risks they face.

Protect Caregivers and Patients with an Air Transfer Mat

Mechanical solutions for lifting, transferring and repositioning patients are more advanced and readily available than ever. By investing in air-powered lateral transfer devices like and air transfer mat, facilities can dramatically decrease the risk of injuries among healthcare workers and patients. Such devices rely on ergonomics to ensure that they suit workers’ capabilities, reducing strain on their bodies. Mechanical lifts with slings, lifts that assist with standing, mechanical transfer aids and other devices go a long way toward protecting residents and caregivers.

When transferring patients laterally, nurses and other caregivers often pull them from bed to gurney with a draw sheet, or they might pull the patient on a sheet, sliding them across a plastic board. Either way, there’s still too much friction, and injuries can easily occur. Today, air-powered lateral transferring devices are the gold standard for reducing the risk of injuries and other problems. These devices use a thin layer of air beneath an inflated mattress to “float” patients from point to point, making the process easier, safer and more efficient for all.

SPH Medical supplies today’s top air-powered patient transfer solutions, allowing facilities like hospitals to reduce the risk of injuries to patients and healthcare workers. Products like AirPal and HoverMatt significantly reduce the risk of nursing injury and repositioning injury; in turn, employee downtime, absenteeism, disability expenses and other issues decrease, allowing facilities to maintain productivity while keeping costs in check. Today, the CDC recommends one patient lift device per eight immobile patients, and air-powered transfer devices are among the most useful and flexible options. Find one that suits the needs of your facility by shopping SPH Medical today.

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