The best way to prevent injury either to the individual or caregiver when transferring is to utilize a board. There are two types of boards that can be used to facilitate easy and safe transfer of an individual.
A transport board is utilized for daily care to transfer an individual from one place to another such as a wheelchair to a bed or to a toilet. A spinal board is used during emergency scenarios to transport a full body with minimal movement as possible to prevent further injury. There are methods that can be used when using the spinal board – log roll and lift-and-slide.
How to transfer an individual from the bed to a wheelchair
Initially, position the wheelchair at a slight angle to the bed. Make sure that the transfer board is balanced on the corner of the front frame of the wheelchair and the other side on the bed side. Check if the board is balanced securely between the two while the wheels of the chair are locked.
Assist the individual to sit on the edge of the bed and steadily move themselves onto the board. Once positioned comfortably on the board, start to move him/her slowly down the incline of the board to the wheelchair.
Once the weight of the individual is on the seat of the wheelchair, assist him/her to settle in and slowly remove the board by pulling up and away from the chair while carefully tilting the individual in the opposite directly if needed.
How to use a spinal board with the log roll maneuver
- There must be five people if this method is used. One must provide lateral stability while the others will stabilize the head, neck, torso, legs and upper extremities.
- Steadily roll the individual to his/her side while sliding the board beneath his/her back.
- Roll the individual carefully back onto the board and allow adjustments to his/her position to ensure that he/she is centered properly before the straps are secured.
- Lift and carry the individual on the board for transfer.
How to use a spinal board with the lift-and-slide technique
- One person should lift and stabilize the head and neck of the individual. Two persons will lift the torso while another person will lift the hips and pelvis. Another person will lift the legs. Care must be observed when lifting in unison. Always remember to only lift as far as required for the board to be positioned. Those who are lifting the upper torso must kneel on each side while the one handling the lower half must stand and straddle. The one lifting and securing the head is also responsible for directing all the movements of the others.
- Once the spinal board is in position, carefully and steadily place the individual on the board and make the necessary adjustments to ensure that the individual is in the center before straps are secured in place.
- Lift and carry the individual on the board for transfer to another location.
By familiar with the different types of stretchers used can greatly help out during emergency scenarios. If you will enroll in an emergency course, you will learn how to utilize stretchers when needed.