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

Lateral Transfer Matt: The Dignity and Dangers Of Lateral Transfers

The gold standard of Safe Patient Handling today is the single patient use Air-Assisted Lateral Transfer Matt.  This article will provide some background about the daily risks faced by nursing staff when handling patients and the growing trend to implement Safe Patient Handling programs that include the SPH Medical Lateral Transfer Matt.

Medical Professionals Carry Out Dozens of Lateral Transfers Per Day

Though caregivers and medical professionals carry out dozens of lateral transfers per day, this procedure is still far from perfect. In other words, while this practice is commonplace in hospitals, it poses serious risks and challenges. Simply put, lateral transfers involve moving a patient from one surface to another. Since several departments are tasked with performing lateral transfers, countless professionals are susceptible to a nursing injury or repositioning injury. Patients are equally vulnerable to these injuries, which is why lateral transfers are notoriously precarious.

When performing a traditional lateral transfer, nurses reposition patients using the sheet that’s underneath them. However, if there’s limited personnel, this isn’t a viable option. To compensate for insufficient manpower, a plastic board is used to streamline the process. Unfortunately, this approach leaves a lot of room for error, making it inefficient and unpredictable. In essence, if there isn’t enough manpower or resources available, affairs become exceedingly dangerous. After all, patients and caregivers shouldn’t have to rely on their physical abilities to oversee successful lateral transfers.

Lateral transfers are so unsafe that medical professionals are 31 percent more likely to experience musculoskeletal pain.  Pain is often a sign of some injury that has occurred and should not be ignored.  With the repetitive nature of lateral transfers and the fact that patients are continuing to get heavier, nurses, techs, CNA’s and transporters are all at risk of a severe back, neck or shoulder injury which may be career ending. Additionally, these handling injuries are emotionally and financially draining, causing both medical professionals and hospitals distress. If a patient or caregiver has been seriously injured, hospitals could pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover medical expenses.  Sound like motivation?  To prevent caregiver injuries, physical discomfort, and to avoid significant financial losses, laws have been passed to improve these practices. Yet, additional efforts need to be made to keep nurses and patients out of harm’s way.

To expedite the adoption of Safe Patient Handling practices, the Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted a study surrounding Safe Patient Handling programs. According to their research, hospitals that employ proven lateral transfer procedures with the appropriate assistive devices, including an Air Assisted Lateral Transfer Matt, are 73 percent less likely to subject patients and nurses to handling injuries. This study served as a catalyst for the Nurse and Health Care Worker Protection Act. The House introduced this bill in 2015, and it requires the Department of Labor to improve patient handling, mobility, and injury prevention standards so that fewer transfer and repositioning injuries occur.

Improving Safety with the Lateral Transfer System

In the hopes of breathing improved safety, efficiency, and security into lateral transfers, air-assisted systems were created. AirPal birthed this invention, but other brands have developed their own versions of this modern device. HoverMatt, for example, manufactures air-assisted systems, and their business has expanded exponentially after developing the disposable or single patient use transfer mattress.  Not only do air-assisted systems reduce friction, but they also provide added support and comfort.  As a result, it’s easier for nurses to boost, reposition and transfer patients, making everyone less vulnerable to strains, sprains, and career ending back injuries.  At SPH Medical, we make this equipment easily accessible so that more hospitals can implement safe patient handling wherever lateral transfers and positioning is occurring.  With more than 15 years of experience implementing Air Transfer Systems, the team at SPH Medical offers expertise in this area to its customers.  SPH Medical offers a complete line of single patient use Air Transfer Mattress options and reusable Air Transfer Mattress options in all sizes compatible with the most common air supplies on the market.

Assisted Transfer Equipment: Is It Worth It?

Air transfer equipment is preferred for its ability to reduce risk of injury and the fast adoption rate by nursing staff. Luckily, the perks don’t end there. In addition to promoting optimal safety, air-assisted systems also make patients more comfortable. Without air transfer equipment, lateral transfers can cause significant discomfort. For patients of size, they may feel embarrassed that so many people have to be involved in a lateral transfer just to move them.  The air-assisted lateral transfer matt gives the patient a sense of dignity. Air-assisted transfer systems do an excellent job of eliminating risks and uncertainty, which is why this equipment is an efficient alternative to old fashioned manual handling practices.

Best of all, patients say that the air transfer matt offers a floating sensation. With that said, it’s evident how much this equipment streamlines the patient transfer process and improves patient throughput in busy departments like the OR and Labor and Delivery. Above all else, when caregivers have the tools they need to ensure patient safety and their own safety, it bodes well for a pleasant experience for all including increased patient satisfaction. Thanks to air-assisted systems, gone are the days of risking a back or shoulder injury while repositioning patients. Instead, you receive a safe and efficient solution to reduce lateral transfer risks.

Contact SPH Medical to get a quote for the Air Assisted Lateral Transfer Matt and realize the benefits of Safe Patient Handling today.

CategoriesPatient Handling

Patient Positioning and Nursing Injuries

How Patient Positioning and Lateral Transfers Increase Risk of Injury to our Nurses

Patient positioning in a hospital, surgery center, or medical clinic occurs twenty four hours a day and every day. Patients are constantly sliding down in bed and therefore need to be boosted back up, turned, bathed, and transferred. In this article we’re going to review one of the most common and predictable patient positioning tasks, a lateral transfer. Lateral transfers occur in many inpatient hospital units throughout the day. Whether patients are headed into surgery or to the imaging center, numerous departments oversee lateral transfers. In layman’s terms, a lateral transfer consists of transferring a patient from one surface to another. Unfortunately, the unpredictability of this procedure leaves a lot of room for error. As a result, both medical professionals and patients become susceptible to injuries. Specifically, hospital staff are at risk of MSDO’s due to the high frequency of this task and the increasing weight of patients. Lateral transfers have become so dangerous that more constructive alternatives are being developed.

In most cases, nurses perform lateral transfers by using the sheet that’s underneath the patient. If there aren’t enough hands on deck, a plastic board can help offset insufficient manpower. However, this method is far from flawless, and it doesn’t reduce enough friction to prevent a nursing injury or repositioning injury from occurring. Strains and sprains are commonplace but more serious career ending back injuries are occurring. Since a successful lateral transfer hinges entirely on physical effort and effective communication, these practices have been deemed high risk.

In fact, these techniques are so ineffective that medical professionals are over 30 percent more likely to experience musculoskeletal pain.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Registered Nurses are the number one at risk profession for a back injury with an average of 7 lost work days per injury.  Manual Patient Handling injuries are the primary culprits for this debilitating condition. While occupational injuries aren’t ideal for workers, they can be especially detrimental to hospitals. Not only do injuries leave their personnel indisposed, but these mishaps can also prove costly, requiring hospitals to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover injury costs, and that’s just the direct cost of these injuries.  d

In the hopes of addressing this ongoing issue, the Bureau of Labor Statistics held a study on safe patient handling programs. Their research showed that hospitals with proper lateral transfer procedures were 73 percent less likely to put their nurses or patients at risk. With this compelling evidence, the House made the noble decision to draft the Nurse and Health Care Worker Protection Act in 2015. At its core, this bill seeks to protect nurses from musculoskeletal disorders by requiring hospitals to reinforce their mobility, injury prevention, and patient handling standards.

The Future Of Safe Lateral Transfers

To combat the number of repositioning injuries, companies started introducing air-assisted transfer systems. AirPal is touted as the brains behind this invention and is renowned for being the first to design this revolutionary technology. With the efficacy of air-assisted transfer systems, companies like HoverMatt were eager to make this resource more accessible, leading to increased supply of the disposable or single patient use transfer mattress.

Air Powered Transfer System

In essence, these systems reduce friction while offering unmatched safety for both the patient and the caregiver. As a result, they improve ergonomics, reduce risk of injury to nurses, and improve patient satisfaction and safety during lateral transfers. Thanks to the incredible ability to reduce friction for patients of all sizes, fewer people are needed to oversee lateral transfers. To ensure that patients and staff members remain out of harm’s way, SPH Medical implements air-assisted transfer systems in hospitals all across the country.  SPH Medical is helping to make air assisted lateral transfer systems available to all hospitals at affordable prices.

Reasons To Choose Air-Assisted Transfer Equipment

Air-assisted transfer systems are highly sought-after for their ability to reduce handling injuries, but they offer more benefits than that. In addition to promoting safe practices, this cutting-edge equipment also instills comfort into the patient experience. In other words, patients aren’t as vulnerable to the unease and discomfort that accompanies traditional lateral transfers. With this modern equipment, transitioning a patient from point A to point B is seamless.  This can improve hospital efficiencies and throughput further reducing costs.

According to patients, air-assisted transfer systems give the illusion and feeling that they’re floating from one surface to the next. What’s more, this streamlined process makes patients feel like less of an inconvenience. When caregivers have to exert tremendous energy to move a patient, it can trigger self-consciousness especially for the Bariatric patient.  The dignity and care of Bariatric patients is an important consideration for hospitals across the country.  In her book The Challenges of Caring for the Obese Patient, Sue Gallagher states, “Even the most compassionate caregiver may be reluctant to provide adequate care [to a patient with obesity] because of the threat of caregiver injury.”  Fortunately, air-assisted equipment reduces self-doubt of caregivers and patients alike, bringing patients great peace of mind while allowing medical professionals to provide exceptional care.



Gallagher S. The Challenges of Caring for the Obese Patient. Edgemont, PA: Matrix Medical Communications; 2005

CategoriesPatient Handling

Lateral Transfers: Know The Risks

The Risks of Repositioning a Patient

Caregivers and medical professionals perform countless lateral transfers per day. This procedure is best described as repositioning a patient from one surface to another. With the uncertainty of lateral transfers, both nurses and patients become vulnerable to handling injuries. Whether a patient’s in the ICU or being taken to surgery, several departments are responsible for conducting lateral transfers. With that said, the potential for a nursing injury or repositioning injury to occur increases significantly. Patients that require total care are even more susceptible to these injuries.

Typically, nurses move patients from one position to the next using the sheet underneath them. However, if there’s limited staffing, a plastic board is used to facilitate the process. Though this alternative can ease the physical effort required, it’s not a foolproof plan. In fact, it doesn’t reduce enough friction to compensate for the lack of human resources, resulting in precarious and often dangerous affairs. Simply put, when nurses reposition a patient, the success of a lateral transfer is contingent upon their combined strength and communication.

Unfortunately, these ineffective solutions predispose medical professionals to musculoskeletal disorders. Studies show that healthcare workers are 31 percent more likely to endure musculoskeletal pain caused by handling injuries. In addition to being debilitating, these injuries can also cost hospitals a pretty penny. Depending on the extent of the claim, hospitals may have to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in injury costs.

To shed light on how unreliable these practices are, the Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted a study on safe patient handling programs. Their findings concluded that hospitals that implement secure lateral transfer procedures are 73 percent less likely to experience nursing or repositioning injuries. Using this information, the House introduced the Nurse and Health Care Worker Protection Act in 2015. In essence, this bill states that the Department of Labor is required to protect medical professionals from musculoskeletal disorders by improving mobility, patient handling, and injury prevention standards.

How Lateral Transfers Repositioning Risks Are Being Solved

With the growing prevalence of handling-related injuries, air-assisted transfer systems were developed. At the forefront of these developments was AirPal. This company is touted as the first to introduce air-assisted transfer systems, and their invention inspired others to follow suit. HoverMatt, for instance, offers air transfer systems that breathe security and physical ease into repositioning patients.

In addition to reducing friction, these systems also provide much-needed support. With these added elements, less manpower is required to oversee a safe lateral transfer. It also makes it easier for nurses to boost patients up in bed. To promote patient and staff safety, we at SPH Medical implement these cutting-edge systems into hospitals.

Why Choose Assisted Lateral Transfers Equipment?

With its vast benefits, more caregivers and hospitals are opting for this modern equipment. Most notably, air-assisted transfer systems eliminate handling risks, but they also provide a more comfortable experience for the patient. In other words, with air-assisted transfer equipment, patients don’t have to endure any discomfort. Traditional lateral transfers are often accompanied by unease and difficulty. With this savvy technology, a smooth transition is promised from one surface to the next.

With assistance from air transfer systems, patients say they feel as if they’re floating. Above all else, air-assisted transfer systems streamline repositioning matters, making the patient feel like less of a burden. When multiple hands are required to carry out this task, it can make the patient uncomfortable and self-conscious. Fortunately, air-assisted equipment brings patients great peace of mind, allowing them to receive optimal in-home or hospital care.

CategoriesPatient Handling

Solving Lateral Transfer and Positioning Risk in Hospitals

Solving Lateral Transfer and Positioning Risk in Hospitals

A Lateral transfer and patient repositioning are typical tasks of nursing staff around the globe. In fact, it’s estimated by the American Nursing Association that the average nurse moves around 1.8 tons during a full eight-hour shift. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this immense amount of movement has resulted in medical professionals being at a 31.1 percent increased risk of musculoskeletal disorders.

The Federal Government has noted the increased workplace harm that those in the medical industry undergo due to lateral transfer and repositioning injury. In 2015, the national government passed new legislation regarding patient handling in the form of the Nurse and Health Care Worker Protection Act. This Act is geared towards shifting healthcare facilities into creating a safer workplace environment for caregivers.

The Biggest Problems With Lateral Transfers

A traditional lateral transfer is performed hundreds of times a day throughout all hospital departments, including ICU, imaging, emergency, surgery, and other medical units. Total care patients are unable to move their body weight from one surface to another. This situation results in the nursing staff physically moving the patient.

This move is performed in one of two ways. With the first method, the nursing staff grabs ahold of a sheet that is positioned underneath the patient. All staff members lift up on the draw sheet and physically lift the patient to another surface. In cases where fewer staff members are present, nurses use a plastic board and pull the draw sheet underneath the patient onto the other surface.

Both of these methods require a great deal of movement and strength from the nursing staff. This typically results in nursing injury in the form of back pain. With so many medical staffers undergoing musculoskeletal injuries, it has become clear that manual patient handling tasks need to be replaced with more efficient methods.

The Introduction of Air Powered Transfer Equipment

In recent years, companies like hovermatt and others have introduced air powered transfer technology. These transfer systems use a thin cushion of air under a mattress that is inflated. This system works to reduce friction and provides a floating action during patient lateral transfer.

These air powered transfer systems can be easily used for both lateral patient transfers and patient repositioning, also known as boosting a patient. The inflatable mattress transfer systems are intended to be left underneath the patient during their hospital stay.

A Look At The Many Benefits Of Air Powered Systems

It’s a wide concern of any medical facility to properly protect the long-term health of their staff. Lateral transfers and patient repositioning are well-known issues that create chronic health problems for medical staff members. Air powered systems have provided a quality solution that allows less manual labor on the part of a hospital’s medical staff. This works to reduce the overall risk of chronic injuries to caregivers.

When it comes to patients, air powered systems are providing a more comfortable and safer experience. Instead of being forcefully heaved from one surface to another under the manual power of medical staff, patients can be easily floated from one surface to the next. This makes the transferring and repositioning experience much smoother for patients.

In addition, air powered systems don’t require the patient to be lifted off of any surface. Rather, the inflatable mattress can be smoothly pulled from one surface to the next.  This makes the lateral transfer experience much safer for the patient as there is less risk of bumps, bruises, or manual handling during transfers.

Air powered systems are tremendously changing the way that medical staffers perform repositioning and lateral transfers throughout their day. These systems drastically reduce the amount of strain that is placed on the nursing staff. From a patients perspective, they provide a safer and more comfortable experience for patients.

Add to cart