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Crit Care Nurs Clin North Am. 2007 Jun;19(2):131-43.

Patient handling tasks with high risk for musculoskeletal disorders in critical care.

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  • 1Division of Applied Research and Technology, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway (MS-C24), Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA.


Critical care nurses are at high risk for development of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). Many patient handling tasks in critical care require physical demands that may result in excessive internal forces, increasing the risk for WMSDs. There are solutions for performing these tasks safely, using technology. This article describes risk factors associated with high-risk patient handling tasks and presents solutions for reducing risk for WMSDs. Studies show that implementing a safe patient handling and movement program that incorporates new technology can pay for itself in a short period of time and provide long-term benefit for health care facilities and nursing staff.

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