The ergonomic effects on caregivers when transporting patients in hospital beds

Transporting patients on hospital beds is an ergonomically high risk activity for caregivers. However, the use of powered assisted beds can have a positive impact on their work lives. Read an extract from 'A case for powered bed transport' whitepaper below:

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"Transporting patients in beds throughout hospitals is an ergonomically high risk patient handling task1-8 and has been rated as one of the top patient handling tasks that result in complaints of musculoskeletal pain.9 Performing such an activity can stress the musculoskeletal system and exceed the body’s capabilities, frequently resulting in low back pain, spinal problems,10 shoulder injuries 11, 12 and, in general, many of the patient handling injuries that are found in healthcare environments13

Ergonomic of patient transportation

Pushing and pulling excessive loads (patients) on a repeated basis, constitutes a high ergonomic risk, as does any task or motion that negatively impacts the musculoskeletal system due to excessive stress or force. 

Awkward postures are due to various factors such as available space, equipment used, number of caregivers handling the patient, and caregiver anthropometry.17

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To reduce the excessive ergonomic effort and push forces when transporting patients, adaptations have been made to some beds adding power drive features and fifth wheels. Battery-powered bed pushing devices have also been designed to assist in bed transport.20-22 "

The most effective way to eliminate ergonomic risk is to remove the hazard, nonetheless hospital staff must transport patients as part of their daily work lives. Fortunately, there are new technologies that can greatly reduce these risks. To read more about the impacting forces on caregivers and how powered transport devices have a proven impact on eliminating these forces download the white paper. 

"The case of powered bed transport"

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Download White Paper