Need a lift? Find out how one tool protects your patients and your back in 3 ways
Binder Lift’s torso wrap lifting aid helps prevent injuries, shields EMS providers from fluids and improves patient comfort
By Yoona Ha
Julie Binder, an EMT, found herself in a conundrum when she responded to a 2 a.m. call involving a nearly naked patient wedged between a chair and an entertainment center.
After sliding the patient into an open space, she and her partner were nearly injured. Responding to unexpected situations are the norm for EMS workers, but what if an accident did happen that night?
So when Binder returned home, she talked to her husband, Dan Binder, who suggested that she purchase a product that made it easier for her to lift patients. They couldn’t help but wonder: What if there was a tool that put a pair of handles on patients that would help EMS providers lift them more easily?
That’s when the Binders created an ergonomic lifting tool designed to help EMS providers lift patients with less risk of a back injury.
Before Binder Lift, there wasn’t an easy way for EMS providers to have a better handle on patients. In fact, it’s common for prehospital providers to suffer back injuries while lifting patients. The most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that almost 40 percent of all sprain and strain injuries were related to lifting patients.
Work-related back injuries are costly to EMS departments. Not only do back-related problems cause some EMS personnel to retire early, but they also cost the healthcare industry a whopping $1.7 billion each year, according to the CDC.
Here are three ways the Binder Lift helps EMS providers safely lift patients:
1. NO NEED TO IMPROVISE PATIENT LIFTING
When responding to an EMS call, many prehospital providers often find themselves facing a lot of unknowns. That explains why they’re so great at improvising on the scene.
“The industry as a whole has been used to improvising when it comes to lifting patients, but that can be really dangerous for both the EMS provider and the patient,” said Rick Binder, director of sales and marketing for Binder Lift. “Without the proper mechanics, body movements and tools patients can even be dropped, causing further harm to the patient.”
Binder Lift removes the need for EMS providers to improvise. The product, a heavy-duty vinyl or nylon wrap that goes around the patient’s torso, provides roughly two dozen handles to allow multiple EMS providers to lift the patient as a team. This turns patient lifting into a straightforward process rather than a problem-solving exercise. The wrap features a cushioned top so that it doesn’t press against the patient’s skin in a way that would cause tears, bruises or fractures.
“With Binder Lift, no matter what position the patient is in, the provider has a handle on a direct line to the patient that gives them an opportunity to lift in a better position that situates their arms and hands closer to the patient’s torso for better lifting mechanics,” said Rick Binder.
2. The Binder Lift PROTECTS PROVIDERS FROM FLUIDS
When a prehospital provider responds to a call that involves lifting a patient, sometimes wearing gloves is not enough to protect him or her from being exposed to contagious diseases and other hazardous liquids. Many EMS providers find themselves in situations with potential infectious exposure involving blood or other bodily fluids, such as vomit, fecal matter and urine.
“What we always emphasize is that having a barrier between you and a patient will be a lot safer, because you often don’t know what your patient’s medical history is,” said Rick Binder.
When an EMS provider puts the Binder Lift on a patient, it automatically creates a physical barrier between the provider and the patient when lifting. The handles give the provider enough distance and control to safely lift the patient without having to come in physical contact with them.
3. Binder Lift is DESIGNED WITH PATIENT SAFETY AND COMFORT IN MIND
When providers lift patients, often they do so by grasping them under the arms, which turns out to be extremely painful for some patients.
One department in Ohio that used one of the Binder Lifts to respond to a call encountered a patient who was already in tears when the EMS providers arrived on the scene.
“She had been picked up before by the armpits, and it caused her so much pain that it took her months to get over it,” he said, “but when they lifted her with Binder Lift, she couldn’t stop talking about how comfortable it felt.”
All of Binder Lift’s products come with a five-year warranty and a free 30-day trial period. A tool like Binder Lift can provide a cost effective solution to handling patients safely and gently, protecting both the patient and the EMS provider from injury.