Anyone who has been in the Fire and EMS industry for more than a couple years typically knows of a few staggering statistics concerning the high back injury rate of prehospital providers. From the 90s through today, multiple studies are saying the same thing: EMS personnel consistently have more reported back injuries than any other industry. More importantly, some of the most recent studies by the CDC are showing that the number of back 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 spend enough money on a flashy power stretcher that loads itself into the ambulance then 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, the majority of caregiver injuries did not happen at the back of the ambulance. Instead, they are happening when lifting grandma after she slipped out of her wheelchair, or helping rescue the bariatric patient that slipped in the shower. It’s in these moments that it becomes clear that the world’s best power stretcher can’t help you here.
Now it is indisputable that power stretchers that can also power load into an ambulance 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 assists 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 you are helping the 100 lb patient out of her wheelchair or lifting the bariatric patient out of the bathtub the Binder Lift is the only device that provides enough handles and torso support to do the job Right.
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 sign up to participate in a 30-day field trial in under 5 minutes. That’s right. 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?