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JolietEMT13

Patient Lifting

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Does anyone have any tips or tricks on lifting backboards with 250+lb patients on them using a two man lift vs brute strength. My dept is often not supported by first responders and my partner and I usually have to bare the entire load of bariatric patients on our own. I know there are many tricks of the trade used for transferring patients such as body bags and garbage bags, but I was wondering if there are any tricks for the initial backboard lift to load them onto the cot?

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The most important trick is to know your limitations , and your partners. 250 lbs is easy with close co-ordination with your partner. It's the 350-500 pounders that will be a challenge.

Make sure you are both ready and lift together so one partner is not taking more than half the load. Use proper mechanics ie keeping your back straight and use your legs to provide the lift to the stretcher.

If you're not 100% sure you can manage the lift safely, don't try it until you can get some more manpower on scene.

Police FF's or another crew should be called for rather than taking a chance of blowing your back out or dropping the PT.

Knowing when to ask for help is the best trick to continuing to stay healthy in this business.

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The most important trick is to know your limitations...

Hey Joliet, welcome to the City!

Though I'm pretty sure that's not the answer you were looking for, it truly is the golden ticket to these situations. You wouldn't enter a scene with a person with a gun or knife, right? Or a car dangling off of a cliff? Why? Because scene safety is our primary concern. We can not allow the problems of our patients to convince us to take career anding chances for ourselves. That's just bad, irresponsible medical practice.

Sometimes the most macho thing you can do is have the balls/ovaries to say, "I can't do this." If you truly are in a situation where you have no help, then that is completely irresponsible on the part of your employer. To expect a two person crew to be able to overcome any and all obstacles they may encounter is simply ignorant. Should we be able to deal with adversity? Sure. Is it realistic to assume that we can overcome ALL adversity? Of course it sounds ridiculous event to say it, doesn't it.

Use help. But if you must use untrained help make sure that you take the minute or two necessary to school them on lifting, when to lift, what will happen after the lift, etc.

Great question! I'm just not aware of any magic bullets for this issue...

Dwayne

Edited to add text in italics for accuracy. (Though I'm not completely convinced that balls or ovaries has a terrible lot to do with anything 'balls' related. But just in case...) No contextual changes made.

Edited by DwayneEMTP

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I dunno why.... mechanics I suppose, but I find for a short move, sometimes lifting from the sides can help.

Sorry I can't add more, but I agree with the rest!

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I dunno why.... mechanics I suppose, but I find for a short move, sometimes lifting from the sides can help.

Sorry I can't add more, but I agree with the rest!

I really kind of hate to chime in here, as it seems like bad advice, but I've also felt this, though I don't do it as often because it feels less stable.

Maybe chbare or others will bring their physics educations to hear on this issue...

Dwayne

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Our service recently learned a new technique for lifing. Instead of the traditional "lift with your legs, not your back" there is something out there called "Power Lifting". You can go read up on it to see if there is any magic. To be honest, I don't see how that will help us in lifting a patient whose weight exceeds the capabilities of the two people doing the lifting.

Yes, know your limitations and don't be afraid to call for help even if that means a delay in transport.

Toni

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I really kind of hate to chime in here, as it seems like bad advice, but I've also felt this, though I don't do it as often because it feels less stable.

Maybe chbare or others will bring their physics educations to hear on this issue...

Dwayne

Just to quantify this a little, I want to emphasize the "short moves" part of my OP. I do not recommend walking any distance like this, especially on rough or uneven terrain. The only time I have used this is in houses, to get across the room or whatever.

Your arms have to be spread far apart to keep the board stable, and your tripping over your partners boots.

Not optimal or even convienient.... but it is just an option when there is no backup.

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Honestly if you have a patient you are unable to safely lift with just you and your partner call for a lift assist! Your safety and that of the patient is paramount.

In my area a lift assist call is usually answered by the FD personel. Besides the LEO that responds with us two or three FD guys show up and help. Same goes at the hospital, if you needed a lift assist to get them in have one to get them out. Go into the ED and ask for an orderly or what-have-you to come out and help.

The extra minutes you take to get a lift assist will save you and your partner's back in the long run.

We have a saying at our squad.... When in doubt punch it out! Just meaning that if we are unsure of the lift just call for the assist.

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Don't risk your career.. or your back. Whether you're paid or volunteer, a back injury is going to suck big time. I learned that early on. Call for help. In my case, there just wasn't any help to be sent, and we couldn't just sit there. Lifting is best explained with hands on, so I won't explain any techniques. Videos and hands on practice, that's one thing you can't learn from reading a book.

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The most important trick is to know your limitations , and your partners.

Knowing when to ask for help is the best trick to continuing to stay healthy in this business.

A man has to know his limitations.
Clint Eastwood as Inspector "Dirty Harry" Callaghan, San Francisco PD, in" Magnum Force"

Truer words in our profession and trade have seldom been spoken.

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