Bariatric Transfers & Manual Handling

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This section looks at equipment designed for safe bariatric transfers, making it easier for carers to move the heaviest individuals without risking injury either to themselves or to the client. Improving comfort and dignity for the person being transferred is also a prime consideration.

Click the links to go straight to each topic:

Bariatric hoists
Other transfer aids

Bariatric hoists

image of Ergolet twin bariatric hoistHoisting systems are available from a number of suppliers, for bariatric transfers to meet the needs of heavier patients.

Shown here is a twin bariatric hoist, which has a safe working load 400 kg (60 stone). By employing two pods for bariatric transfers – which can also be used separately for less demanding situations – the system provides better value for money. You can make the switch between a single or twin lift in a few minutes, without the need for any tools.

The system can also be used for transferring patients between rooms, thanks to a unique door connector which connects the ceiling tracks in adjacent rooms.

As well as ceiling track hoists, there are also freestanding mobile and portable gantry type lifts available to transport heavier loads.

For information about the various options, visit our hoisting section.

A weighing scale is often available as a hoist accessory, so that patients’ weight can be monitored.

Bariatric slings are also available either from the hoist manufacturer or a specialist sling supplier, to work with the hoist.

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Other bariatric transfer aids

heavy duty birchwood transfer boardApart from hoists, there are a number of other aids to assist with transfers of bariatric patients.

For short transfers, simple equipment, such as a heavy duty transfer board (right) can facilitate moves from wheelchair to easychair, bed to wheelchair, etc. This type of aid is only likely to be suitable for patients at the lower end of the obesity scale, and care should always be taken to minimise manual handling for the safety of both carer and patient.

Image of heavy duty standing transfer aidFor patients who can weight-bear, at least for a short time, a heavy duty standing transfer aid may be suitable.

It can be used to move a patient from a sitting to standing position, or to transfer them in a standing or sitting position, with the addition of appropriate slings or support belts.

Transfer systems are also available which enable a patient with very limited, or no mobility, to be transferred in either a lying or sitting position.

For repositioning immobile bariatric patients in bed, a heavyweight repositioning sheet, which remains on the bed, is most convenient. Used ideally in conjunction with an overhead hoist, the repositioning sheet enables one carer to move and turn a patient safely.

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scales for bariatric weighingwheelchar scaleIt is essential to have accurate scales available so that proper care can be given to bariatric patients. This is in order to assess which equipment can be safely used for transport, etc, without risk to either carer or patient.

For patients with limited mobility, a wheelchair scale (right) is safer and easier. This one is a precision mechanical scale. Digital electronic versions are also available.

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