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Evaluating Specific Hoist and Sling for Patient Suitability

Hoist and Sling Assessment 

Silvalea’s safe patient handling and transfer products have been developed for both non-complex and complex scenarios to closely meet the needs of residential, hospital, school and homecare environments.

To best assess an end user for the selection of a specific and/or replacement sling or to evaluate existing hoist equipment for patient suitability; Silvalea would always suggest that you contact them directly so that they can support you with an assessment visit.

Equipment selection needs to be based on a number of considerations; the needs of the individual, the needs and constraints of the organisation as well as the capability of the person who will be operating the equipment.

It is important to consider if the end users physical and mental capacity is likely to change in the near future and if this should be considered when choosing a sling or hoist type.


1.     Identify the type of patient transfer

2.     Consider any assisted handling required when positioning ready for the lift

3.     Frequency of identified task

4.     Identify any obstacles and/or other equipment such as wheelchair, chair, bed, shower etc.

5.     Load – should include height as well as weight

6.     Patients ability to assist with transfer

7.     Assess end users motor control, sitting balance and upper body control. Consider what level of support is required

8.     Medical history/medical conditions including semi and/or permanent medical devices such as a catheter or drip lines

9.     Skin condition/existing wounds/tendency to bruise etc.

10.   Any compliance or behavioural issues?

11.   Clearance, lighting and space

12.   Pre-existing equipment evaluation

13.  Sling fabric considerations should be based not only on the comfort of the lift but also on the end users skin integrity and mobility. Has the sling been manufactured with a non-slip back panel? Will fabric irritate a pre-existing complaint? Consider rubbing, cushioning and pressure points during lift

14.   Is the chosen sling compatible with the hoist manufacturer? 

Patient Assessment for Slings

When using a mechanical lifting device for safe patient transfer, whether a mobile hoist, overhead hoist or fixed, the correct sling selection is of vital importance to a safe, comfortable, and dignified transfer.

Choosing the correct sling is dependant on the type of transfer, medical condition, comfort and hoist or spreader bar to be interfaced with.

You should always consider sling design, sling fabric and sling sizing. Some fabrics can gather under the legs, some patients who have restricted movement can slump in the sling. Is there option for a non-slip panel or additional padding to stop the material gathering? Sizing is important not only for comfort but also in providing a safe transfer. Does your sling provider provide bespoke or tailored services if sizing is an issue? Silvalea offer a custom-made option to ensure every client gets what he or she needs.

There are many types of sling choice and characteristics of the end user such as weight, height, motor control, head support, leg support etc. that will help decide the most appropriate solution. Silvalea has many years experiencing in dealing with and providing sling solutions for complex scenarios in nursing home/residential care, hospitals, and home care for a multitude of hoist manufacturers.

Once you have considered and carried out a patient assessment, looked at the type of transfer required and reviewed the lifting equipment a sling selection can be based on:

1.     Support level

2.     Positioning

3.     Physical characteristics

4.     Type of transfer

5.     FIM score (Function Independence Measure)

6.     Material