Patient Transfer - Pressure Reducing Overlay (PtPRO)

Period of Performance: 09/30/2003 - 02/29/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Medefficiency, Inc.
Westminster, CO 80030
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The innovation proposed is a single-unit transfer device within a customized pressure-reducing overlay. The "Patient Transfer Pressure Reducing Overlay - PtPRO" - will be engineered as the only product to provide 1) safe and non-traumatic patient transfer from one supine modality to another; 2) continuous reduction of pressure, shear, and friction, which are primary contributors to the formation of pressure ulcers, and; 3) portability so the PtPRO can "travel" and remain with a patient in bed, during transfer, and throughout procedures. Currently no devices exist to provide immediate and continuous pressure, shear, friction-reduction plus transfer mechanism designed to stay with a patient throughout procedures, including surgery. Patient handling is a hazardous activity with substantial risk of causing injury to both patient and caregivers. Caregivers are at risk for back injuries, the majority of which are due to lifting and transferring patients. Patient risk during transfers occurs when friction, shear, and ultimately pressure from any surface cause tissue damage and the subsequent formation of pressure ulcers. Pressure ulcer prevalence in long-term care facilities is approximately 23% and in hospitals is 9%, costing $55 billion annually. Roughly 50% of patients with pressure ulcers are over age 70. There is tremendous opportunity to improve care. EXAMPLE: Picture a frail elderly lady who falls at home and breaks her hip. At the ER, she is transferred to the ER gurney/bed. She needs X-rays so is rolled down and transferred to the x-ray table and back to the gurney. Next, she needs surgery, so she is rolled there and transferred to the pre-op bed to wait for surgery. She is then transferred to the surgery table and back to the recovery bed. Then finally, she is admitted to the hospital floor and transferred to her bed. In the vast majority of cases these 6 transfers upon arriving at the hospital are accomplished with sheets. With the PtPRO, this immobile patient, who is in tremendous pain, could have endured the transfer to the ER gurney, immediately and continuously have pressure redistribution in place, and never have to endure these six traumatic painful transfers after that. and that was only on the first day!