Most nursing home residents need help getting to the bathroom; however, many residents are unable to walk and need assistance moving from their beds to their wheelchairs. When nursing home residents are permanently bed ridden, incapacitated, disabled, or paralyzed, they require assistance to get from one place to another. Typically, patients with these conditions are transferred from their beds to other seating surfaces by a mechanical lift known as a hoyer lift.

What Is a Hoyer Lift?

A hoyer lift, also known as a patient lift, is common equipment used in a nursing home to assist nursing home workers when moving disabled residents. It is a mechanical lift that uses a sling to transfer a patient to another seating surface. When a patient is being moved with a hoyer lift, the person is suspended in the air in a sling while being transferred.

Dangers of a Hoyer Lift

Because patients who are transferred by a hoyer lift are typically frail and are suspended high in the air, they are at risk for falling. Sometimes hoyer lifts aren’t used correctly or aren’t manned by two people like they should be. When patients are transferred improperly, hoyer lift accidents can cause nursing home falls that result in multiple fractures, hematomas, traumatic brain injury, and other serious injuries. Sadly, death has even occurred as a result of a hoyer lift accident.

Nursing Home Negligence With Hoyer Lifts

The workers who operate hoyer lifts should be trained on the proper way to use a hoyer lift. For example, caregivers should never move a resident when the lift isn’t secure. However, this frequently happens due to understaffed nursing homes—resulting in workers rushing or trying to cut corners. When workers use bad judgment, don’t properly cross the straps over the resident, or fail to make sure the patient is safely and correctly in the lift, the resident can suffer serious injuries.

If you believe your loved one was a victim of a hoyer lift accident in a Sarasota nursing home, you should request a free copy of The Florida Nursing Home Abuse Handbook: Ways to Recognize and Prevent, and call our office with any questions. 

Damian Mallard, Esq.
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Board Certified Sarasota Personal Injury Attorney
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