VMS Rehab Offers Innovative Patient Chair Reducing Risk of Serious Injuries For Health Care Workers

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This news release is about the need to address the increasing number of serious injuries to health care workers on the job due to lifting or moving patients. It is proposed that the introduction of "Safe Patient Handling -No Manual Lift" legislation coupled with the installation of more 'patient' assistive devices in healthcare facilities will reduce the risk of health care worker injuries.

In the face of increasing numbers of serious injuries to health care workers on the job and the negative impact this has had on the Healthcare industry throughout North America, VMS Rehab Systems, Inc, a provider of adaptive seating systems for the elderly and persons with disabilities, claims that the need to install assistive devices for patient Sit to Stand Transfers or for moving and lifting patients in hospitals, long term care facilities and at home, is greater today than ever before.

According to *Dr.Richard F.Edlich, M.D., Phd, "Achieving a standing position without the assistance of a healthcare worker has two important benefits. First, it allows persons with disabilities as well as the elderly the functional independence. Secondly, it prevents the potential injury to the healthcare worker, while providing assistance to the seated individual. Without the use of VMS' ALDA hi-seat chair or other such assistive devices, healthcare workers are developing disabling back injuries…."

In a 2005 published report in the Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants, titled "Devastating Injuries in Healthcare Workers:Description of the Crisis and the Legislative Solution to the Epidemic of Back Injury from Patient Lifting," Dr. Edlich points out that 'Healthcare workers consistently rank among the top occupations with disabling back injuries from manually lifting patients.'

Explains Michael Wexler, VMS Rehab President, "If you think that entering and exiting a standard height chair is 'no sweat' for the Elderly or Disabled Person, you are wrong. For some Elderly, or patients undergoing hip or knee surgery, or for persons with severe Arthritis of the hips or knees, a Sit to Stand Transfer cannot be executed without assistance from nursing staff or a caregiver. That's where the trouble begins for healthcare workers who have to lift literally tons of human mass during a routine shift." Adds Wexler, "Talk to any healthcare worker and they will tell you horror stories about the amount of lifting they do during a routine shift. They will also tell you about the serious injuries which they or a colleague have incurred on the job."

According to the Edlich Report, "Nursing work is comparable to the hardest labor, with nurses lifting an estimated 1.8 tons per shift." And there appears to be evidence that other healthcare workers could be lifting 'over 5 tons' per shift.

Writes Dr. Edlich, "Everyday nurses suffer debilitating and often career-ending and life-altering injuries from lifting and moving patients. The Healthcare Industry has relied on people to do the work of machines….Body mechanics training is ineffective in the prevention of back injury with patient lifting…….A "Safe Patient Handling-No Manual Lift" policy is essential to halt hazardous manual patient lifting, which promotes needless disability and loss of healthcare workers, pain and risk of severe injury to patients, and tremendous waste of financial resources to employers and workers' compensation insurance carriers."

Innovative assistive devices that promote independent activity for the Elderly and/or for persons with disabilities answer the call from Healthcare workers to reduce the amount of lifting or moving of patients.

The Alda Artherapedic Seating System II™ is a proprietary hi-seat chair that was originally designed and developed in co-operation with the Rehabilitation Department of the Women's and Brigham Hospital, Boston, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. It is one of the first adaptive seating systems without a mechanical lift to assist in the chair-rise of individuals with musculoskeletal or neuromuscular impairment.

With a seat height of 57.5-62.5 cm (23-25 in), the Alda hi-seater not only reduces muscle and joint stress for patients following hip and/or knee joint replacement or repair, or for persons with severe Arthritis of the Hip or Knees, but at the same time, it reduces the risk of back injuries for healthcare workers caused by lifting or moving patients when entering or exiting a seated position.

The Alda Artherapedic Seating System II™ is available as a standard seater (50.8cm/20' wide/weight bearing up to 160kg/355 lbs) or wide seater(60.98cm/24' wide/weight bearing up to 230kg/550 lbs). It can also be purchased as a standard or wide seat transporter for transition purposes in hospitals, rehab clinics, and long term care facilities. Established in 1997, VMS Rehab Systems operates from offices in Ottawa, Ontario and Ogdensburg, New York.

  • Dr. Richard F. Edlich, MD, PhD is a distinguished Professor Emeritus of Plastic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA, and Director of Trauma Prevention, Research and Education , Trauma Specialists, LLP, Legacy Emanuel Hospital, Portland, Oregon, USA.

For More Information:

Michael Wexler, President

VMS Rehab Systems

Toll Free (NA):1-877-447-7328





Dr. Richard F. Edlich, MD, Phd    

Tel: 1-360-944-7641

Fax: 1-360-944-7612

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