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Questions and Answers Should one or two caregivers assist during the use of a patient lift?

Do safety regulations specify whether one or two caregivers should assist when a patient lift is used? And, is there any difference when using a mobile or overhead lift?

"There are no regulations from supervisory authorities specifying the number of caregivers to be present when using a lift for patient transfers. However, there may be local rules in this regard that are set down by the employer, in which case, such rules apply.

When we at Liko are asked this question from time to time, we usually recommend the following;

Needs must be assessed in every individual lifting situation. The number of caregivers required to assist depends on, among other factors, the type of lift being used and the patient’s functional status. It also depends on the caregivers’ training and knowledge of the correct use of the products. The most important consideration is your own safety and the patient’s safety. Both patient and caregiver must feel safe and secure during transfer situations.

Normally, application of the sling requires more physical effort than actually manoeuvring the lift. It is more difficult to apply a sling in a safe and ergonomically correct manner to a heavy or immobile patient than it is with a patient who is able to help with the application, thus for heavier patients two or more caregivers may be required..

The use of mobile and overhead lifts differs in that it is considerably easier to perform a transfer using an overhead lift than with a mobile lift, since the latter must be manoeuvred on the floor. Operating a mobile lift while remaining close to the patient can be very demanding. 

The conclusion is that needs dictate. In some cases, one person is enough. In other cases, for example, when lifting a very heavy patient, more than one caregiver may be required.  If you are uncertain as to how a transfer should be performed, we recommend that you contact your supervisor or the physiotherapist/occupational therapist who has prescribed the assistive devices that are to be used.
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From the very beginning consideration for those for whom we develop our products has been our most important guiding-star. Our concept reflects our vision in our daily activity - always to improve life quality for patients and caregivers globally.