Anyone who has been in the Fire and EMS industry for very long typically knows of a few staggering statistics concerning the high rate of back injuries among prehospital providers. From the 90’s through today studies have been conducted that all say the same thing: EMS personnel consistently have more reported back injuries than any other industry. More importantly, the most recent studies by the CDC are showing that the number of musculoskeletal injuries sustained by EMS personnel is increasing with each year that passes.
It is a common misconception for departments to think that they can “buy” their way out of this problem. Maybe if they throw enough money at a piece of power equipment, then maybe, just maybe, their back injury problem will disappear. However, time and studies have shown that this is not the case. Even before power cots became prevalent, most caregiver injuries did not happen while lifting the stretcher at the back of the ambulance. Instead, they are happening when lifting grandma after she slipped out of her wheelchair, or helping rescue that bariatric patient that slipped in the shower. It’s in these moments that reality sets in – the world’s best power stretcher can’t help you here.
Now it is indisputable that power stretchers and power loads will prevent lifting related injuries. The power cot companies can also show impressive cost justification advocating the procurement of their devices. But if the caregivers hurt their back before securing the patient to the stretcher the cost justification used for its procurement is flawed and worthless.
Don’t misunderstand – All EMS personnel should have power lifting equipment available for their use. But EMS is a physical job and will always include manual patient assisting and lifting. It is time that we stop spending $40k on power equipment while attempting to save money by using a bed sheet or other improvised method to pick the patient up. Lifting or assisting the patient by their own extremities is both dangerous and unprofessional.
Without having handles to grasp, caregivers are unable to effectively team lift and are forced to use bad lifting ergonomics when lifting the patient. The Binder Lift provides a safer, simpler, and more effective way of lifting. Whether helping a 100lb geriatric patient out of their wheelchair or lifting a bariatric patient out of the bathtub, the Binder Lift is the only device that provides enough handles and patient stabilization to do the job safely.
There’s a Better Way to Lift
So why go another shift with your back at risk? Through Binder Lift’s evaluation program anyone can request a 30-day field trial in under 5 minutes. All you need to do is go to www.binderlift.com/trial to fill out a request form. It’s obligation free, so what’s stopping you?