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Lifting Patients a Common Cause of Injury in Health Care

Law Office Of James P. Leahy April 8, 2021

When you make your living as an Illinois nurse or in a similar health care position, you may have to lift patients regularly as part of your job duties. As the U.S. population ages and American lifespans lengthen, your lifting and patient-moving duties are likely to increase.

Per Health Leaders Media, injury rates in health care continue to exceed national averages. Also, many of the injuries suffered in your line of work are back or musculoskeletal injuries caused by heavy lifting.

Evaluating lifting-related injury statistics

Research shows that there are 75 lifting-related injuries for every 10,000 individuals employed full-time at U.S. hospitals. This is almost twice the rate of lifting-related injuries seen across other industries. While this figure is alarming, so, too, is the fact that the rate of lifting-related injuries seen among nursing home workers is three times the national average.

Reducing Lifting-Related Injuries

There are several efforts health care employers may take to help reduce how many of their workers suffer lifting-related injuries. Patient lifts are becoming more common in hospitals and other healthcare settings and take much of the strain off of healthcare workers. However, the high cost of this equipment means many hospitals are hesitant to put limited funds toward the purchase, particularly those in more rural areas.

When health care workers must lift heavy patients on their own, it not only endangers them but also, the patients they are trying to lift. Thus, it often serves health care employers well to invest in lift-assistance equipment, despite the high price involved.