Ceiling-Mounted Patient Lifts: Raising the Bar for Staff Safety

April 1, 2009 | Evaluations & Guidance


Patient lifts are instrumental in reducing the number of staff injuries that can result from lifting patients manually. In our February 2009 issue, we evaluated mobile floor lifts, which are mounted on casters and can be rolled to different rooms when needed. This month’s Evaluation focuses on ceiling-mounted lifts, which move along a track that is installed along the ceiling or wall of a single room.

Ceiling lifts consist of a lifting apparatus, which includes a ceiling console that contains the motor that does the lifting and the rollers that ride on the track; a suspension system that includes the sling and the lifting strap; and a hand control that regulates the lift’s movement.

Table: Evaluation at a Glance: Ceiling-Mounted Patient Lifts

Ceiling lifts also require the installation of a track system in any room in which they’re used. The motors of most ceiling lifts are permanently mounted to the track, meaning that each lift can be used in only one room; this is the case with the three units evaluated in this issue. However, suppliers also offer portable ceiling lift motors, which can be detached from the tracks and transported to any room that has a track. (For a look at the portable models offered by the suppliers covered in this Evaluation, see the discussion Portable Ceiling Lifts: A Brief Evaluation below. )

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