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Bariatrics: Turning or repositioning a large patient


In follow up to the question of leaving the turning sling under patient. How does the staff turn the patient that is too large for the turning sling, or the patient on the air circulating mattress?

Aaron Barthorpe
North Country Hospital


Dear Aaron:

Thank you for this challenging two-part question.

  1. Turning a large patient. Whether or not there’s a “reposheet” under the patient, you may wish to use turning straps (or “MultiStraps”) under the patient and affix them to the side rail of the bed per the manufacturer’s instructions. To see an illustration of this procedure, visit the section entitled “Turning Sideways” in the linked instruction sheet.

  2. Turning a patient on an air circulating mattress. We assume you are referring to an air-circulating or “low air loss” mattress. When used with mattresses of this type, most “repo-sheets” have virtually no adverse effects, i.e. no heat buildup, no moisture buildup, and very little impairment of air movement. Thus you should be able to use a repo-sheet consistent with the manufacturer’s instructions. In the event the patient is large, we suggest you consider following the procedure outlined above.
Stay safe,
The Lift Doctor*