Safe patient moving

Actively caring for you

Your safety during your hospital stay is very important. Your caregivers will help keep you safe by using safe patient moving equipment if you cannot fully move yourself.

This equipment will help protect you from falling and from getting bruises and skin injuries that you might get without the equipment.

Safe patient moving equipment has other benefits. Patients who have used this equipment report:

  • greater comfort while being moved
  • skin protection
  • security (being protected from falling)
  • better hygiene
  • greater dignity

Special lifting equipment and/or moving aids can also shorten your rehabilitation and prevent injuries among hospital caregivers.

When equipment may be used

For most adult patients, safe patient moving equipment may be used when you need help:

  • being moved (such as from a wheelchair to the bed, or from the bed to the toilet)
  • changing positions (such as scooting up or rolling in a bed)
  • during care (such as changing a dressing, or for hygiene)

Your health care team will honor your privacy at all times and answer any of your questions. Lifting equipment may not be used during an emergency or if it is not part of your care plan.

How lifting and moving equipment will be chosen

Your health care team will assess if it is safe for you to move on your own without risk of falling or injury. If you need help from caregivers to move, you will be lifted or moved with this equipment. This is for your own safety.

Your caregivers will choose the right equipment to move you safely with the greatest comfort. Your health care team will run the equipment and be with you while you are moving.

Common types of lifts you may see include the following (to see examples, click on the pictures below):

  • Full lifts are used for patients who are not able to support their own weight or who are disoriented. There are two types of full lifts:
    • overhead lift, which is attached to the ceiling of the room
    • mobile lift, which rolls across the floor

For both of these lifts, the patient rides in a cloth sling that is securely hooked to the lift.

  • Lateral transfer devices are used for moving patients from a bed to a stretcher or table while lying down. One device uses an air mattress to glide the patient between two surfaces.
  • Sit-to-stand transfer devices are used for patients who have some upper body strength and ability to support their own weight. The equipment allows a patient to move from a chair or toilet to the bed.
  • Powered transport carts and tugs are used to move patients long distances or on carpeted hallways.