09:08 AM

VIDEO: Safety Is in the Air with the Patient Handling Tool


The patient handling tool provides caregivers with a safer and easier way to laterally transfer patients of all sizes from one surface to the next by raising the patient in one smooth motion on a cushion of air, without the 
need for lifting. The reduced exertion helps lower the risk of injury and requires fewer people to complete a move.


By Kaley Johnson

At Cook Children’s, safety is one of our values, both for our patients and our employees.  When the opportunity arose to use a tool that could help alleviate staff over-exertion, leaders wanted to make sure that our staff members were scheduled for training on to use the new equipment. The device will be available soon to help staff laterally transfer patients.

The Comfort Glide Air, an air assisted mattress created by Medline, allows staff to transfer patients from surgery beds to adult beds without putting physical strain on staff. The device is placed underneath the patient and inflated. Nancy Russell, RN, MS, CPN, CPPS, Nursing Quality Improvement Coordinator, compared the airflow technology to an air hockey table.

Nancy, who has worked at Cook Children's for 39 years, and Randy Price CSP CIT CEAS, who is the Safety Manager, Occupational Health, are leaders of the Solutions For Patient Safety Employee/Staff Overexertion initiative. Many staff overexertion injuries are not caused by one event, Nancy said, but are due to a culmination of repeated transfers, boosting and patient handling activities.

The air assisted mattress provides “a seamless transfer that takes way less exertion than if we did it with a sheet under the patient,” Nancy said.

They coordinated with the Professional Development Council and Medline workers to provide multiple trainings for staff on how to use the tool.

Staff are excited about this equipment, Nancy said, which can be used for any patients in adult beds.

“It's just another tool in the belt for patient handling,” she said.

At a recent demonstration, Nancy and Randy showed the ease in which a patient can be moved when utilizing the device. Once the air mattress is underneath the patient, it only took about 20 seconds for three staff members to transfer the patient from a stretcher onto the adult bed - one staff member pushes the mattress toward the receiving person who uses the handles to help pull the patient into position, while another person supports the patient’s feet (for those taller patients).

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