Reply To: Using the molift belt


Anne McMahon

Hi Jessie, Megan and Kate

I agree the techniques used in this video are unsafe. The carers are using the strap handles to lift and lower the patient. No I would not advocate this technique and no I would definitely not teach it to our staff. But I think this type of equipment is great as long as its used in the right way and with the appropriately assessed patient/client. They are a great way to test and improve sit to stand ability and standing tolerance. They have a small footprint and obviously don’t need to be near a power point, making them easier for clinical and residential spaces to accommodate. But they do not replace the need for a sit to stand and/or full body hoist. If the patient cannot stand themselves onto this equipment then a higher acuity of equipment should be used.

We train staff to use the strap only once the person is standing and to remove the strap before they sit down. We remove the moveable slide before implementation so staff are not tempted to try drag or lift anyone up. I have not seen the technique on the video used anywhere before. I have seen the strap with the slide in use but I think there is a risk that it will be used to lift the person physically. Everyone teaching M&H needs to consider as you say Jessie, A. can you do it safely and B. can you teach it and have confidence that the learner will do it safely. Transfer belts have been contentious for some time, I think for similar reasons. There is a round table discussion article in the international Journal (Int J SPHM. Volume 7, number 3, 116-121) discussing ‘gait belts’ with representatives from NZ, the UK and the US. Just FYI!