Selecting the right hoist sling is as important as choosing the correct hoist, and equally requires careful, professional assessment to ensure that the person is properly supported and comfortable, and that the sling is suitable for the task being undertaken.
Most hoist suppliers will provide a standard range of slings in different sizes, generally including hammock-style, divided leg, toileting/access, dressing, and amputee slings. It is also possible to have special designs made to order to suit an individual’s needs.
There are specialist sling manufacturers who can provide slings for use with different manufacturers’ hoists: it is important to check compatibility, as well as all the other factors. Slings that can be easily laundered, and ones with a protective ant-bacterial coating are useful in multi-user facilities.
Single user or disposable slings are becoming increasingly popular as a means of preventing cross contamination. The latest developments in robust disposable slings mean that a sling can be used throughout a patient’s stay in hospital for respite care, rather than being thrown away after a single use: much more cost-effective.
Many suppliers colour-code their slings to make selection of the right type/size easier. Unfortunately, there is no generally accepted system to this, so it may be more confusing than helpful!