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Repositioning: Transferring from supine to upright with manual assistance


Can you please provide more information for transferring from supine to upright positioning with manual assistance.

Monya Pryor
Bethany Health


Dear Monya:

Two basic scenarios come to mind in response to your question.

  1. Manual assistance with no intervention by mechanical devices of any type.

  2. Assistance using a chair-configurable bed or a mechanical lift.

Manual Assistance -- If you are looking to perform the procedure using only manual assistance, then you should first assess the risks to both the patient and the caregiver. If either the patient or the caregiver could possibly be injured during the procedure, then in all likelihood you will require at least two caregivers. Depending on the specific patient ’ s capabilities, you may also be advised to employ a lift strap or gait belt to ensure against musculoskeletal strain. The Lift Doctor cautions against lifting or repositioning a patient unassisted. As evidence, please review the content of the following PowerPoint presentation from the State University of New York: Click here

Mechanical Assistance If mechanical assistance is required, then you have several options ranging from a chair configurable bed to an assortment of mechanical lifts.

Configurable Beds There are beds available that can bring a patient from supine to a seated or full-chair position with pushbutton control

(click here to see an example).

Sit-to-Stand Lifts -- Once in a seated position, the patient can then be transferred to a sit-to-stand lift (see photo below). Note that use of a sit-to-stand lift allows that therapist or caregiver to safely assist the patient to a standing position and enable the patient to have a controlled standing tolerance test and leg weight transfers.

Sit-to-Stand Lifts

Mechanical Lifts If only a mobile floor lift is available, follow the manufacturer ’ s instructions regarding selection and placement of slings and accessories designed to help accomplish your task safely and effectively. (See photo below) You might also be interested in ambulation aids (Lift Pants or Ambulation Vest), which provide a stable environment for the patient to stand at the bedside and walk, if able. These provide the patient a‘ safety net ’ and help ensure against falls.

Mechanical Lifts

Stay safe,
The Lift Doctor*