In this blog, we look at the intricacies of safely assisting someone with a suspected hip fracture. From the initial assessment to the crucial moments of lifting and transfer, we consider some key techniques that healthcare practitioners should employ to ensure the utmost care and minimal risk for the patient. Alongside these techniques, we consider how the Mangar Swift Transfer Slide and Mangar Rhino Lifting Cushion are essential to the teamwork needed to move someone safely after a fall.
The saying ‘time is of the essence’ holds particularly true when an older person has fallen and cannot get off the floor. This is because of the complications that can arise when an older person remains immobile for an extended period where they have fallen, including an increased risk of pressure sores, muscle stiffness, and the longer-term psychological consequences of a long lie. So, taking swift action to provide timely assessment and intervention can significantly improve the chances of successful treatment and recovery.
The specific technique used to move a person with a suspected hip fracture who has fallen will depend on the situation. Below, we explore some general principles, including the supporting role of the Mangar Swift Transfer Slide and Mangar Rhino Lifting Cushion.
Call for Assistance.
- Ensure you have adequate help available. Lifting a person with a suspected hip fracture often requires a team of trained individuals.
Assessment and Communication.
- Assess the person’s condition and gather information about the suspected hip fracture. It is important to communicate with the person to understand their pain level and any movement restrictions.
Use Proper Moving and Handling Techniques.
- Follow established guidelines for safe moving and handling techniques, including using proper body mechanics to protect your back and joints. The benefit of the Mangar Swift Transfer Slide is that where it is safe to do so, the person can be moved from a confined area so that you can then adopt the appropriate posture to move and handle the person safely.
- If a lifting device is available, use it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. At Wincare, we have designed the Mangar Swift Transfer Slide and Mangar Rhino Lifting Cushion to be simple and intuitive to use, even in the most pressurised and demanding of situations.
The equipment is also lightweight and easy to store, making it the ideal lifting device for those care homes or ward areas where the storage of moving and handling equipment is at a premium.
Stabilise the Injured Hip and Maintain Proper Alignment.
- If possible, stabilise the suspected fractured hip using a splint. If this is not possible, it is critical to provide support to minimise movement and keep the person’s body in a straight line during the lift to avoid unnecessary twisting or bending. The Mangar Swift Transfer Slide and Mangar Rhino Lifting Cushions lift the person in a supine position, helping to keep the body in a straight line and reducing unnecessary bending or movement of the hip.
Coordinate Movements and monitor for discomfort.
- Plan the lift with the team, ensuring everyone is aware of their roles and responsibilities. Lift the person smoothly and in a coordinated manner to avoid sudden movements and continuously assess the person for signs of increased pain or discomfort during the lifting process. The Mangar Swift Transfer Slide and Mangar Rhino Lifting Cushion have been designed to inflate to minimise unnecessary movement, thus providing a more comfortable lifting experience.
Transfer to a Stretcher or Bed
- Once lifted, transfer the person to a stretcher or bed with caution, using proper transfer techniques. Using the Mangar Rhino Lifting Cushion in combination with the Mangar Swift Transfer slide means the person can be lifted to the appropriate height, and then moving and handling forces are minimised as the person is assisted in sliding across from Rhino to the stretcher or bed.
In this blog, we’ve considered the advantages of safely moving a person with a suspected hip fracture. Guided by the correct principles and moving and handling techniques, including using devices such as the Mangar Rhino Lifting Cushion Mangar Swift Transfer slide, it can enhance overall care and outcomes for individuals with a suspected hip fracture from a fall.