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A special school in New Zealand contacted Silvalea, having exhausted all hope of finding a suitable product for a highly complex hoisting situation they were faced with.

A young boy with extreme movement and strong extensor patterns meant that a standard sling was totally unsuitable as it provided very little support where needed. His severe extensions led him to throw his head backwards cutting off his airway. A safe transferring position was unachievable and put both the patient and carers at risk every time hoisting was carried out.

The care staff had almost given up hope of finding a suitable product when they came across Silvalea whilst searching the internet. They subsequently emailed and outlined the situation to see if we could offer any help.


A live and interactive assessment was set up via Global Training by Silvalea, to allow the Silvalea R&D team to see the scenario first hand and talk to the care staff and professionals face to face.

The team were able to see the young boy hoisted and observe the situation. It was clear from the start that a highly specialised sling was needed which would offer the appropriate support necessary to provide a safe transferring position.

From the information provided to the Silvalea team and from witnessing the situation through the link-up, the experienced & knowledgeable team had a product in mind and demonstrated the Tinkham Sling. They recreated the scenario as best they could and explained how the sling could help keep the young boy safely supported whilst hoisting was being carried out.

The sling featured specific shaping and carefully positioned pick up tapes. It was designed to fully wrap around the body and with the slight stretch of the fabric, it would provide full support to the natural contours of the body, as it settled within it. There was specific tailoring and shaping to the shoulder areas, adjustable head support to prevent him from throwing his head back and elasticated side panels to help prevent him from escaping out of the sides. Along with a double set of adjustable hip tapes which would help the hips maintain a flexed position as he tried to extend.

As this type of sling needs to fit perfectly it would have to be tailor-made, therefore measurements would be required. The team demonstrated how to obtain these and how to accurately fill in a Tailor-Made Form.


Once all the information was obtained Silvalea manufactured a tailor-made Tinkham Sling and shipped it to New Zealand. There was a lot (of hope) relying on the success of this product, especially with the distance and not being able to return the product easily for alterations.

However, they didn’t need to worry as the outcome was overwhelmingly positive, the sling fitted like a glove and a safe and secure transfer was, at last, achievable, everyone was delighted, and more slings have been ordered.

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