Moving and handling individuals, particularly plus size individuals, is becoming an ever more common situation, presenting a challenge for those working in the emergency services. The ProMove Bari-kit was developed in collaboration with manual handling specialists in the Fire and Rescue and Ambulance Services to help make these challenges safer.
The ProMove Bari-Kit aims to provide the rescuers with a complete set of items needed at the first point of contact when moving and handling a plus size individual. The ProMove Bari-kit is made up of three slings; Adult sling which has a safe working load of 45 stone (285kg), and a Bariatric sling and Super Bariatric sling which both have a safe working load of 63 stone (400kg). The kit also comes with eight extension handles, bugg strap to assist placing the sling, lifting belt to lift legs, and heavy-duty slide sheet.
The ProMove Bari-kit is an innovative piece of equipment. Its simple design allows efficient and comfortable rescuing of plus size individuals no matter what their weight, and its compact nature also minimises storage requirements as space is at a premium.
The ProMove Bari-kit overcomes three critical problems in handling plus size individuals:
- Danger of suffocation from being laid horizontally – When moving the individual, the ProMove Bari-kit slings maintains the individual in a seated position. This can be critical as, when a plus size individual is lying horizontally the abdominal organs press against the diaphragm and with breathing difficulties this could prove fatal.
- The ergonomic design and distinctive shape of the slings means they are simple to deploy and can be placed under the casualty whether in a seated or near horizontal position. The slings provide support without risk of friction, skin shearing or respiratory failure. The strategically placed handles allow as many rescuers as possible to take a firm grip and share the load, reducing the risk of musculoskeletal injury for the rescuers.
- Danger of tissue damage – the plus size individual is often very vulnerable to skin damage and can suffer painful skin tearing that can be difficult to treat. The ProMove Bari-kit slings and the accessories are designed to handle the individual with the greatest of care and dignity, reducing the need to grasp or pull on the individual’s body.
The slings and accessories make the most challenging moves more manageable and safer, reducing risk of injury to rescuers and providing safety, comfort and dignity for the plus size individual. Maintaining the plus size individual in an upright (seated) position substantially reduces the risk of breathing difficulties associated with placing an individual lying down.
Following several months of trialling, in May 2017 the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust purchased the Bari-kit from ProMove UK Ltd (ProMove) in partnership with Leicestershire based emergency evacuation specialist 3ET. The kit is now available on seven ambulances covering south Wales.