Affiliations: School of Safety Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Address for correspondence: Kamal Kothiyal, School of Safety Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia. E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: This study presents the results of an evaluation of a patient handling aid commonly used for transferring patients from bed to toilet or other type of chairs. The results of the study showed that use of the patient handling aid (sling) increased the rate of perceived exertion at the lower back and the shoulder. Investigation of the muscular activity using electromyography in the shoulder and the lower back regions revealed that there was significant increase in the erector spinae activity in the lower back region. The increase in the back strain in the sling transfer was related to the increase in lumbar flexion resulting from the relatively smaller size of the sling. Trapezius muscle on the other hand did not indicate any difference in activity. The results of this study indicate that for positive outcomes there is a need for ergonomic evaluation of the sling and the postures adopted by the patient handler while transferring the patient with the sling.
Keywords: manual handling, patient handling aids, nursing staff, perceived exertion, electromyography, musculoskeletal disorders, back pain, patient transfer