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Amputee & Paraplegic Slings: Paraplegic lifts and slings

Question

What slings and lifts would recommend for a paraplegic client?

Deanna Janes
Red Deer Regional Hospital


Answer

Dear Deanna:

In order to answer your question definitively, the Lift Doctor would need additional information about each individual patient's exact clinical condition and status. For example, is it a complete or incomplete spinal injury, and do you know the degree of head and/or trunk stability? In most cases, the level of the spine where damage has occurred would need to be identified because often this is the key factor that will determine the type of sling recommended. 


Here are some general considerations. If the spinal injury is in the high thoracic range, usually I would recommend a sling such as a Liko Soft Highback that provides good upper body support while ensuring the arms remain inside the sling. If the injury is in the mid-thoracic range or lower, (and assuming the patient has sufficient arm functionality and strength), then perhaps a Liko Universal, an Original Model 10, or a HygieneVest would be preferable. These allow the patient's arms to remain outside the sling, permitting maximum self-participation and independence. If the patient retains function in his legs and can make an independent transfer such as to a toilet, then a MasterVest might be adequate. Regarding the type of lift recommended, any model that provides adequate lifting capacity and height should be able to do the job. 


I hope the above answer also points out the importance of thoroughly assessing each individual patient's condition and making an informed recommendation for the sling that ensures the best clinical solution for the patient (i.e., the safest and most comfortable).


Stay Safe,


The Lift Doctor

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