When Moving a Patient, What Should You Always Avoid Doing?
When moving a patient, there are several things that you should avoid doing to avoid injury. For example, you should never lift the patient under your arms. Moreover, you must refrain from twisting or pivoting when lifting. Also, never try to lift the patient with a weak arm.
Moving a patient is a critical event that should not be taken lightly, as it can result in severe injury or death. When moving someone, you should always move them slowly and carefully, avoiding exertion and sudden changes in position. This post will show you the proper ways to move someone who has suffered an injury.
Moving someone after an injury is not as simple as picking them up and carrying them to safety. They must be handled gently, so they don’t worsen their condition or suffer from physical trauma themselves on the way to safety– even if it takes longer than expected. You also have to factor in external risks like stairs, grates, ice, heavy furniture, or having patients walk long distances for help.
To make moving a person after an injury easier, you must have a plan of action that accounts for these potential risks.
After an injured patient has been stabilized and transferred from the scene, you should always perform the following steps:
1. Avoid Exertion and Sudden Movement. As you move a patient, avoid sudden changes in position, such as kneeling or squatting them up to gain more leverage or even leaning on one side instead of using their back to lift them. The best way to move a person is to cradle them to your chest with your arms around their waist. If they have been injured on the side near the hip, they will be leaned on as you carry them, but if on the back side, you will be leaning on their torso, potentially causing additional injury.
2. No Stairs! When moving someone after an injury, stairs must be avoided unless necessary. However, if there are stairs or a lift in sight, move the patient away from them– even if it means moving them outside or onto another level of a building.
3. Grates should be avoided. This includes not rubbing one back against them and avoiding walking on them. If a patient is moving from the bed onto their wheelchair or wheelchair lift, be sure that the patient is sitting in the chair and not standing up to avoid stooling them into the chair like you would in a store. If a patient rolls themselves onto their side, try to position yourself so that you are holding on to their hip rather than sitting on it, as they will likely fall forward and hurt themselves if you are on their bony hip.
Avoid Lifting a Patient Under Your Arms
When moving a patient, never lift the patient under your arms. Tell the patient what you’re doing before lifting them. When moving a patient up and down, be sure that the patient’s head, shoulders, and hips are resting on the sheet. You should also hold the patient’s upper back and hips on the side closest to you.
It’s essential to ensure you know the correct lifting techniques and the weight that should be lifted. Many communities offer training to help caregivers properly lift patients. The first step is maintaining a proper alignment with the patient’s spine. Then, bend at the knees and hips, keeping the patient close to you. Don’t twist your body while lifting a patient; keep the arms close to your body. Always remember to call for assistance when needed.
Avoid Twisting and Pivoting
While moving a patient, it is essential to use the correct biomechanics. This means keeping the legs straight, not twisting the spine, and keeping feet shoulder-width apart. This will prevent abnormal twisting in the back and help avoid serious injury to the patient’s spine. The spine is especially vulnerable to twisting and pivoting, which can cause severe back injuries. Also, avoid grabbing the patient by the neck and holding on. Also, never try to hold them up when they have lost significant balance. Instead, try to help them safely descend to the floor.
The most common method of moving a patient is by standing pivot, which is safer than twisting and pivoting. A vertical pivot is a stepping-stone of balance and requires equal weight-bearing in the lower extremities and a support system for the trunk. To perform the pivot, the client must be scooted to the edge of the original surface. Then, the patient should pivot on the more muscular leg while keeping the hips and knees straight. While lowering the patient, a staff member should keep a hand on the patient’s weaker leg.
Caregivers should always consider how to move a patient before beginning the move. It is best to avoid twisting and pivoting as they may cause unnecessary bruising to the patient. In addition, the patient cannot communicate and may not give feedback to help them feel comfortable. It is also helpful to use a flat paddle when moving someone.