What device should be used when transferring a patient from the bed to the wheelchair?

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Transfer aids are required if a person is unable to safely move using a walking aid from one location to another; for example moving from a chair to a bed. Transfers are commonly done to help assess mobility or to progress mobility in an inpatient or community setting. Transfers are a good way to start helping someone become more independent with intimate things such as toileting when they have reduced mobility, for example following a CVA or long hospital stay.

Transfer aids can be used for rehabilitation (short term) or for long term use at home or in a care setting.

Types of Transfer Aids[edit | edit source]

Turn Tables / Manual Standing Aids[edit | edit source]

Most turn tables or wheels have knee blocks and handles to allow the person to participate. Some have the option of a pivoting seat paddles to allow the person to sit down whilst being moved from one position to another.[1] Most transfer aids have a weight limit but their limiting factor is normally their width therefore bariatric alternatives are available.

The aim of transfer aids is to help simulate the pattern for sit to stand as well as reduce the amount of support a person requires from carers. They are common place within a rehabilitation setting as they can be used as part of a strengthening programme.

Electric Standing Aids[edit | edit source]

Electric standing aids come in many forms but their aim is to allow a person to actively participate in their stand whilst providing full support. These can either allow someone to stand onto a platform or directly onto the floor to allow for stepping practice.


Hoists[edit | edit source]

What device should be used when transferring a patient from the bed to the wheelchair?

Hoists can be either mobile or fixed to a ceiling track. Hoists are used in conjunction with a sling, which is specific to the brand of hoist, the patient and the aim of hoisting for example a leave in sling, a hygiene sling, a disposable sling (often used in a healthcare setting) or an amputee sling. If someone requires a hoist then it needs to reflected in their moving and handling care plan ensuring the correct sling size. [5]

Slide transfers/slide board transfer[edit | edit source]

What device should be used when transferring a patient from the bed to the wheelchair?

Patient and carer using a slide board

Slide boards or banana boards can be used for patients who do not have the physical strength to achieve a stand in their lower limbs but have good upper limb and trunk strength. These can also be useful in patients who are lower limb amputees.

It is helpful to have a wheelchair or normal chair that has removeable arms to allow the board to be positioned correctly.

Prescription[edit | edit source]

Physiotherapists should assess patients mobility as soon as able when they are an inpatient or following a major trauma event or neurological event[6]. The use of transfer aids should be documented and handed over to the multi-disciplinary team along with how much assistance the patient requires to use each transfer aid in order to follow manual handling guidelines[7].

As the patient undergoes rehabilitation the changes to which aids the patient requires should be discussed with the patient as well as the MDT. Communication of the progress of mobility is essential to increase independence and also reduce the risk of falls or other hospital or community acquired health problems. [8]

Usage[edit | edit source]

The usage of these transfer aids will vary depending on the needs of the patient and their progress with physiotherapy with the end goal to return to their previous mobility level (baseline).

Some patients may always require the use of aids to transfer due to their medical condition or frailty. Although with physiotherapy and exercise intervention this can be improved, however, will vary depending on the individual and their overall health.[9]

Maintenance[edit | edit source]

It is important to check that aids are:

  • in date for servicing
  • person intending to use it is under the maximum weight limit (safe working load)
  • There are appropriate numbers of staff using the aid
  • staff have competent training in manual handling and using the aid

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Sara Stedy - Arjohttps://www.arjo.com/int/products/safe-patient-handling/standing-and-raising-aid/sara-stedy/ (Accessed 23 October 2020)
  2. Complete Care shop. Secure Turn Patient Turner - Patient Transfer From Chair To Wheelchair. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPClfkY8VGE&t=47s [last accessed 26/12/19
  3. Etac R82 UK. Etac R82: Molift Raiser standing transfer with RaiserStrap with sleeve. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfYdhCvBlD8&t=77s [last accessed: 25/4/2017]
  4. Arjo Global. Arjo – Patient Handling - Sara Plus demonstration video. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOmqjJbu0xw [last accessed 8/4/2020]
  5. HSE Getting to grips with hoisting peoplehttps://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hsis3.pdf (Accessed 23 October 2020)
  6. Pandullo SM, Spilman SK, Smith JA, Kingery LK, Pille SM, Rondinelli RD, Sahr SM. Time for critically ill patients to regain mobility after early mobilization in the intensive care unit and transition to a general inpatient floor. Journal of critical care. 2015 Dec 1;30(6):1238-42.
  7. Ellis T, Katz DI, White DK, DePiero TJ, Hohler AD, Saint-Hilaire M. Effectiveness of an inpatient multidisciplinary rehabilitation program for people with Parkinson disease. Physical therapy. 2008 Jul 1;88(7):812-9.
  8. Bush K, Barbosa H, Farooq S, Weisenthal SJ, Trayhan M, White RJ, Noyes EI, Ghoshal G, Zand MS. Predicting hospital-onset Clostridium difficile using patient mobility data: A network approach. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. 2019 Dec;40(12):1380-6.
  9. De Vries NM, Staal JB, Teerenstra S, Adang EM, Rikkert MG, Nijhuis-van der Sanden MW. Physiotherapy to improve physical activity in community-dwelling older adults with mobility problems (Coach2Move): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2013 Dec;14(1):1-9.

When moving a patient from bed to wheelchair which technique should you use?

Stand as close as you can to the consumer, reach around their chest, and lock your hands behind the consumer or grab the gait belt. 2. Place the consumer's outside leg (the one farthest from the wheelchair) between your knees for support. Bend your knees and keep your back straight.

What equipment can be used when moving patients?

Moving and handling equipment.
a selection of hoists – eg hoists to raise fallen individuals from the floor, standing hoists, mobile hoists etc..
bath hoists or bath lifts and/or adjustable height baths..
a sufficient number of slings of different types and sizes..
slide sheets..

Which of the following assistive devices is best used to move a patient from a bed to a stretcher?

A large transfer board is commonly used to transfer patients from bed to stretcher and back. Smaller transfer boards can be used to assist patients from a bed into a wheelchair and back.

What is the transfer device?

Patient transfer devices are assistive lifting devices which help keep both the patient and caregiver physically safe during relocation between places of rest.