maxon precision motors, inc. (as seen on Robotics Online)
Nurses face the daily challenge of caring for an overweight population, which leads to debilitating injuries. A motorized lateral transfer device allows even the smallest nurse to move a heavy patient.
One of the growing problems facing the nursing career is a thinning staff, and with it the need to care for overweight patients with very little help. This effort has led to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) including back injuries, the most costly MSD injury. In fact, 12 percent of nurses leave the profession each year due to back injuries, and 52 percent suffer from chronic back pain. Those working in nursing homes have even a higher rate of injuries. Until recently, moving a patient was performed manually or with minimal automation.
Allowing a single nurse to safely and comfortably transfer a patient without risk of injury required a fully automated device. Astir Technologies (Concord, MA) took this on as a goal, to use the latest technologies available to provide patient transfer in a manner that decreases hospital costs and reduces injuries to health care professionals, while minimizing the discomfort to the patient. With this in mind, the company designed and manufactured the PowerNurse™ for that purpose.
All of the mechanisms are packaged in a low-profile (74- x 28- x 2.3-inch) assembly that rides over a standard hospital stretcher. With the PowerNurse patients can be moved between hospital beds, stretchers, imaging equipment, operating room tables, and exam tables. According to Chris McNulty, Astir Technologies President and developer of the PowerNurse, “Other less expensive friction reducing devices decrease but do not eliminate the risk of nurse injury while performing a lateral transfer.”