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Orthopaedic Nursing

April 2009, Volume 28 Number 2 - Supplement: Safe Patient Handling in Orthopaedic Nursing , p S18 - S23


  • Miki Patterson
  • Patricia Mechan
  • Nancy Hughes
  • Audrey Nelson


Vertical transfers of patients with a cast/brace or sling on an upper or lower extremity from bed to chair pose a high risk for musculoskeletal injury. A task force was formed, including representatives from National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses, American Nurses Association, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Patient Safety Center of inquiry at the James Haley Veterans Administration Medical Center in Tampa, FL, and related clinical experts. This task force developed an ergonomic decision-making tool (algorithm) to determine best practice for safe vertical transfer of a patient with an upper or lower extremity injury in a sling cast or brace. This tool was designed with current literature review, ergonomic safety concepts, and technology available.

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