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Patient Transfer Boards

Transfer Boards are a convenient tool that helps facilitate easier patient transfer. Patient transfer devices are great for caregivers; they reduce strain on the back, neck, and shoulders while physically moving the user from place to place. These instances include moving from bed to chair, chair to tub, wheelchair to recliner, and so on. Sliding boards are basically a way of building a bridge between two surfaces.

Choosing the right transferring equipment depends on the individuals needs. Although they all serve the same purpose, there are slight differences that should be taken into consideration before purchasing.

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Static vs. Dynamic

Static boards are one piece boards that come in a variety of sizes; short, wide, long, etc. Most standard boards can accommodate between 200-500 pounds. However, bariatric boards, such as the Bariatric Wood Transfer Board with Handles, can hold up to 600 pounds. They are available in two types of material; plastic or wood (pine, oak, birch) and can be purchased with or without cut-outs. Both plastic and wood boards are built to be durable and sturdy. However, plastic is more susceptible to temperature. For example, leaving plastic in a hot car or in direct sunlight can cause the material to soften and become less sturdy.

Dynamic boards are ideal for patients who have limited mobility, but who can be transferred while standing up. This type of board is placed on the floor and features a moving disc that the user stands on and can slide from side to side with caregiver assistance. Because it limits patient lifting to a minimal, it places less strain on both user and caregiver.

Board Application

Most standard boards are designed to assist with patient transfer from any place to another, but there are some that are specifically designed to be used for bathtub and toilet transfer, such as the Tub Transfer Board by Carex. Users will often choose to have a board designated for bathroom use and one for all other transfer needs.

Safety and Use

When using patient transfer devices safety should always come first. When moving patients from a wheelchair to any other surface, always lock the wheels into place and angle the chair at 45 degrees. Place the board securely under the hips and buttocks and make sure the patients knees are directly above the ankles and their feet are flat on the floor, this will prevent potential injury during transfer.