Pressure Ulcers, Transferring Equipment and Techniques

Now that I’m a PURSUN Researcher, I’ve been studying pressure ulcers, prevention and cures. During my research, I’ve noticed we’ve discussed pressure points, mattresses, dieting, hygiene and PICOs, but nobody said anything about transferring techniques and equipment.

Ever since my journey to fight against pressure ulcers has started, my transferring techniques have changed. While living in Bermuda, I was taught to ‘bum shuffle’ from, let’s say, my wheelchair to the bed or a chair. However, I was told that this is wrong. Climbing in and out of bed can also be risky, especially when barefoot. As a result, my transferring techniques have changed since then.

Nowadays to prevent pressure ulcers, it has been suggested that I use a banana board or a sliding sheet from BACES in Bradford.

The Bradford and Airedale Community Equipment Service (BACES) is a partnership between Bradford Social Services and the NHS in Bradford and Airedale.

This service has been set up to provide you and your family with a wide range of equipment, to help you live more independently.

Banana Transfer Board

This Banana Transfer Board is designed to assist in the seated transfer of a patient between two surfaces.

Transfers from Bed to wheelchair, wheelchair to Chair, wheelchair to toilet and the like, are just some of the uses the board can be put to. It was made from an extremely durable and hard-wearing materials, the transfer board is curved to facilitate positioning and features anti-slip pads on the underside for safer location and a convenient carrying handle. The board has a maximum user weight of 200 kgs (over 30 Stone) and can be easily cleaned with soapy water/alcohol/disinfectant and a non-abrasive cloth. I’ve tried this but it’s too hard on the buttocks and doesn’t help with shearing pressure.

Hoists provide support for lifting and moving those in need from one place to another without causing undue stress or discomfort. They are used for moving from bed into a wheelchair, or vice versa, the range can carry a variety of weights and are good for the bathroom, bedroom, and all points in between. Part of the medical supplies and aids range, they also offer battery monitors, chargers, and slings for your hoist so you can be fully prepared to face the day. There are also travel cases available if you need to go somewhere and take your hoist with you, and specialist hoists for wet environments like the bathroom.

Lateral Transfer Slide Board

This is designed for use with the Transfer Glide Sheet, this Lateral Transfer Slide enables easy transfers between beds, trolleys, tables and treatment couches.

It works by creating a stable, slip-resistant platform between the two points and by providing a smooth top surface over which the patient can easily be moved without the need for lifting. User comfort is enhanced by the slide’s tapered edges, which pass easily under the body, whilst the handles around the perimeter provide plenty of convenient places to grip and hold it steady. I’ve tried this but it’s risky and slightly flimsy.

All our equipment is clean and maintained to the highest standards.

What equipment do we offer?

Equipment to help with:

  • moving, handling and walking 
  • bathing, showering and toileting 
  • household and kitchen tasks 
  • nursing tasks

Commodes can also be used for pressure relief.

Proper Transfer Techniques

  • The push-up – Use the wheelchair armrests (or wheels if you don’t have any) to push up out of the seat with your arms. You should straighten your arms fully so that your elbows are locked. Then ensure that the buttocks and lower back are fully out of the seat.
  • The forward lean – Lean forward as far as you can – imagine that you are trying to rest your chest on your knees! This movement is particularly good for relieving pressure on the coccyx.
  • Leaning side-to-side – Whilst seated, shift your body weight onto your left side to lift your right side out of your seat. Then repeat on the other side. Like the push-up, this movement relieves pressure from the buttocks and the lower back. However, because this is a more subtle movement it’s great to perform whilst you’re out and about!

Why is proper transfer technique so important?

Correct technique should minimise risk of skin injuries. Incorrect technique can increase your risk of falls during transfers. Managing the injuries which result from poor technique can be difficult and lengthy. Prevention is far superior to cure!

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About Daniella-Jade Lowe

Hello, My name is Daniella Jade Lowe. I am a PURSUN researcher and I am working on marketing myself as an Accessibility Consultant. Journalism and Politics are my passion. I have a BA degree in History and Politics. What type of disability do you have? At birth, I was diagnosed with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus which are neurological conditions. As a result, I use a wheelchair for mobility. What is disability to you? The only disability is a bad attitude. I have a disability. It doesn’t completely define me; it just enhances me in a way which differentiates and strengthens me. My disability should be viewed as an ability: to see the world in a different way. I don’t really like the term because sometimes it indirectly implies someone is dysfunctional or helpless. The most important thing is to never make assumptions. Someone with a disability can be very, physically, fit and strong, highly intelligent and articulate. What has been your experience from the time you remember till now? - positive and negative experiences. My life as a wheelchair user has been generally okay. Wheelchair Accessibility is frustrating. I was teased a little in school. Other than that, life is great. How do you cope with: -daily activities - your disability, do you have times when you are down - people's reactions towards you. I have carers, a Social worker, District Nurses, a GP, and extended family in this country. I am also in contact with a local disability charity in Yorkshire. I also have a friendly landlord. How do you keep yourself motivated? I must stay organised and practice good time management. I also prioritise my plans. What is your word or advice - to those with disabilities? - to the society Don’t let people put you in a box. You have a voice, use it. 10. Tell us about your platforms if you have any- Blog: The View from Where I Sit Facebook: Daniella Jade Lowe Instagram: @daniellajadelowe/@theviewfromwheresitblog Thank you!