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 everyone! Welcome to my page. My name is Daniella Jade Lowe. I am a university graduate with a BA degree focused on History and Politics from the University of Bradford, England. Journalism and Politics are my passion. I have even represented Bermuda at the London 2012 Paralympic Games as a reporter for Bermuda’s Paralympian Jessica Lewis. During the games I also assessed the level of Wheelchair Accessibility at the event. I am an emerging Journalist, Politician and Disability Advocate. My motive behind doing this was to be an advocate for people with disabilities. I have a disability. It does not 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. As a wheelchair user, I have advocated for Wheelchair Accessibility in Bermuda, by writing various articles for numerous publications on the subject. I also have a blog where I also write about various disability related issues. During Middle School and High School, I used a Garaventa StairTrac to navigate the school for classes. In fact, one of the reasons why I pursued further education and started my career in England was due to Wheelchair Accessibility. During College, I became the Disability Officer for the Students’ Union and I advocated for the students with disabilities. On July 27, 2007, I was invited by former Premier of Bermuda Dr. Ewart Brown for a ‘Brown Bag Lunch’ to discuss issues like Wheelchair Accessibility amongst other things. I have also been sporadically involved with WindReach since I was young. This is how I amplify my voice for Wheelchair Accessibility! I am also skilled in Politics, Microsoft Excel, Customer Service, Microsoft Word, and Strategic Planning. Strong media and communication professional with a BA focused in History and Politics from University of Bradford.