Compressed air and inflatables help reduce back pain in healthcare sector

Research by Liantis and UZ Gent shows that positioning with inflatables results in a significant lower muscle strain compared to the other methods

Study by Stephan Tomlow, Liantis (external service for health and safety at work)

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About the study

Study by Stephan Tomlow, Liantis (external service for health and safety at work)

Liantis and UZ Gent investigated whether the use of compressed air can reduce the physical load for health care workers. The study compared three different proning methods: (1) compressed air and inflatables, (2) lifting patient and foam cushions, and (3) tilting on supports. Six subjects had to move a patient from the supine to the prone position using these three different devices. With each of the three methods, the muscle tone of the subject’s shoulder muscles and low back muscles was measured to see which method was the least physically demanding.

Study conclusion:

The reduction of manual handling by the use of compressed air, when tilting and positioning before surgery in the prone position, clearly results in a reduction of physical load, both for the back muscles and for the shoulder muscles measured by muscle tension measurements with surface electrodes. This method can contribute to improving ergonomics and sick leave in the healthcare sector.

– Stephan Tomlow, Liantis, external service for prevention and protection at work (2022)

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Download the study summary (one page poster)

About us

Ergotrics is specialized in positioning and moving patients with compressed air. We design and produce inflatable devices that can tilt and move patients quickly, easily, ergonomically, hygienically and safely. All our product innovations are based on a profound knowledge of anatomy and physiology. In this way we offer patients better and more hygienic care and we improve work conditions and efficiency for healthcare workers.

“The surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses involved consider the new method to be simple, more ergonomic and more hygienic than the ways and materials that are used today. In addition, they indicate that the position of the patient after tilting is correct and stable.

– OR team, UZ Leuven (Belgium)

The advantages

by mirroring the human skeleton.

by positioning on air.

by safe use of compressed air.

by single (patient) use: disposable cushions

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