July 4, 2008

Patients and Staff Benefit From Device to Lift and Support Leg

PATIENTS with serious leg injuries and staff treating them will benefit from a new device developed in Yorkshire.

The device mechanically lifts and support a patient's leg, allowing health staff safely to carry out a range of clinical tasks with a reduced risk of suffering back problems by repeated manual lifting of a leg in operating theatres and hospital wards.

One type of sling used with the mechanism, devised by staff from the school of health studies at Bradford University, could also aid patient recovery as it helps maintain range of movement at the hip and there is no increase in pressure at the back of the calf or heel.

Creator Sue Barton said: "We invented this system not only to improve the working practice of health professionals involved in lifting and supporting a leg but to allow the patient's leg to be held in a position of comfort. Our studies show that the use of a mechanical device... significantly lowers the amount of work done by the muscles in the lower back and significantly reduces risks." The device is being developed by independent health innovation firm Salitas, based in Knaresborough.

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