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Keywords:

  • bariatric;
  • handling;
  • patient transfer;
  • safety;
  • sprains and strains

Cowley SP, Leggett S. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2010; 16: 262–267 Manual handling risks associated with the care, treatment and transportation of bariatric patients and clients in Australia

To gain an understanding of the factors that affect the risks and the adoption of risk control measures during the care of bariatric patients, focus groups were conducted in rural and metropolitan locations in Australia. It was found that the manual handling injury risk to carers is influenced by the design of the environments within which patient movement is undertaken; the limited range of handling equipment available for use with bariatric patients; and the efficacy of organizational procedures and training. Adoption of risk controls is hampered by the absence of a standard definition of the term ‘bariatric’ and limitations in the use of weight and body mass index in definitions. There are gaps in information flow during the bariatric patient journey through the health-care system and a lack of knowledge about how to safely manage the unique needs of bariatric patients.