Thank you for this interesting question. The Lift Doctor assumes by “Total Lift” you mean that the patient is being lifted in a full body lift and is suspended above the bed, chair, or floor in a sling or lift sheet for a short period of time.
There may be a number of contra-indications and precautions when executing a Total Lift.Most of these restrictions will be dictated by specific medical conditions, although there may also be occasions when physicians prohibit a Total Lift or the patient himself refuses to participate.
Medical contra-indications: most of the medical conditions are related to the musculo-skeletal systems. The transfers may be restricted due to instability and/or absence of supportive physical structures. These might include some of the following: certain spinal conditions or spinal surgical procedures, some hip surgeries, or traumatic skeletal injuries or repairs. There may be dozens of other possibilities, for example -- critical conditions which might require immediate access to a patient, on a solid, stable surface etc.
Non-medical contra-indications: these situations might include: the patient refusing to cooperate, being fearful of the use of a mechanical lift, being combative; transfer objects (beds, stretchers, carts) not providing a secure and stable area for positioning; or related environmental restrictions.
Are there situations where extra caution is needed? First, every total body lift should be treated with caution and advance preparation. That is due to the chance that a sling is attached improperly or a lift component becomes compromised. Circumstances where extra caution may be required generally are situations where proper patient assessments for transfer have yet to be made, or where there is physical instability or unfamiliarity with product guidelines and operating procedures.
One final observation: When using a mechanical lift with a patient for the first time (unless it’s an emergency or the patient has fallen to the floor) the Lift Doctor suggests that the procedure should be “prescribed” or otherwise approved by the person who is medically responsible for the patient. Also, approval by the medically responsible person is particularly important when considering the medical contra-indications listed above since any lifting procedure can have a significant impact on the patient’s outcome.
I hope this has given you useful information for your Total Lifts and Transfers.
The Lift Doctor*