Story of the LiftZeroHealthcare Workers are at the highest risk
of injury according to NIOSH
Message from our Founder & Clinical Strategist, Elizabeth White, RN:
I’m very excited that you have an interest in the LiftZero solution.
While I was a nurse at the Surgical ICU at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, in Colton, California, I was assigned a 374 lb patient who on a ventilator, so the head of his bed had to be up. It took five people to help me turn and clean him, and because of this, it could only be done once a shift. When he slid down in the bed, I was only able to find one other RN to help pull him back up. And because he was also on spinal precautions, his feet were not supposed to rest on the footboard. By the end of the shift, my back hurt so badly that I could hardly walk. Thus began years of constant, daily back pain.
Four months later I received a phone call that my father had suffered a major stroke. At his bedside, the nurses cared gently for him, turning and lifting him as I had done innumerable times for others. As I watched, I could see that they were straining, as I had when injuring my back. I thought to myself, “There has to be a better way! Why was all the safe patient handling equipment designed for transfer, when 90% of what I did was in bed repositioning and 75% of all patient-lifting injuries are related to bed repositioning?”.
The NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) places health care providers at the highest risk for musculoskeletal injuries. In fact, they are one of the highest risk groups of any industry, and manual patient handling is considered to be the reason.
I began to sketch ideas for something to move patients around in their beds. Relocating to Utah, I discovered that Brigham Young University’s Engineering Department did research for outside projects, and requested their assistance for LiftZero. Once we began, a student realized we could utilize the movement of the bed, rather than trying to move the patient.
After some testing and many concepts, I came up with the idea of using the existing sheets on the bed and using an insertable locking bar. This 60 inch fabric clamp holds upwards of 15,000 lbs, and provides the type of support I was searching for, to assist nurses and to provide the comfort a patient deserves.
Thank you again for your interest and taking the time to read my story and purpose behind the invention of LiftZero.
Elizabeth White, RN