- faster rehabilitation
When a person is hospitalised and required to spend protracted periods in bed, this can have serious consequences on his/her health and well-being. Lying immobile increases the risk of blood clots forming in the lungs, and of skin complications such as pressure ulcers.
Loss of muscle mass and strength are other complications commonly associated with long-term hospitalisation, and these issues can actually affect both the length of hospitalisation and the patient’s ability to function after discharge.
For hospitalised patients, long periods of immobility increase the risk of:
- Respiratory complications such as pneumonia, atelectasis and pulmonary embolism
- Tissue damage and pressure ulcers
- Blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis)
- Reduced muscle mass and -strength
- Reduced physical fitness
- Diminished balance, especially among elderly patients
It is therefore extremely important to mobilise patients as early as possible – ideally during the period of hospitalisation.
Early mobilisation will enable patients to commence rehabilitation sooner, which will improve convalescence after an operation by boosting blood circulation and reducing the risk of infection and other complications.
Early mobilisation and rehabilitation are defined as positioning/repositioning exercises and physical activity, and spending more time out of bed – walking around or simply standing up.
Other activities include daily routines such as combing hair, washing face and hands with a wet flannel, exercises in and/or next to the bed, balance training and walking around the bed.
Challenges linked to early mobilisation include risks such as falls, a major need for physical assistance, and risk of injury to care staff and therapists.
Common lifting and moving tasks:
- Helping patients into a sitting position in order to test their reactions, reflexes, protective responses
- Supporting the sitting position
- Moving patients between bed, chair, examination couch, etc.
- Lifting the upper body for positioning supports, pillows and the like
- Lifting the hips when making the bed under the patient
- Lifting extremities
- Toilet visits (using a toilet chair, if necessary)
- Transition from one position to another
- Moving patients from sitting to standing position, and vice versa
- Standing balance/sitting balance
- Reactions, reflexes, protective response in upright position
- Shifting weight
- Gait training
- Exercises in the bed
Mobilising patients early and more safely
A ceiling hoist system with the appropriate sling can help promote the early mobilisation and training of hospitalised patients in a manner safe for both patient and staff.
Medical, orthopaedic and bariatric patients, as well as patients on intensive care wards, all benefit from lifting systems involving ceiling hoists and slings.
A ceiling hoist can be used to test patients’ seated balance capabilities – when sitting on the edge of the bed, for example.
If patients start to feel dizzy while sitting securely in the sling, they can be helped back to bed quickly and easily without having to lift them manually. Similarly, intubated patients attached to monitors can be lifted up and into an easy chair positioned next to their bed – thus promoting early mobilisation.
A ceiling hoist also makes balance/gait training safer for both the patient and the care staff. Patients feel safe and secure in the walking sling and can start to move around without the risk of falling.