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Nurses suffer back injuries lifting patients 

On Behalf of | May 14, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Nurses face many risks on the job, one of which comes when they have to lift or move patients. This can expose them to potential back injuries or spinal cord injuries. Registered nurses typically have a very high injury rate, when compared to other industries, and this is one of the reasons why. They can’t always avoid making these dangerous lifts, and some will be injured in the process.

Part of the issue is that Americans are getting heavier. If you look at the weight of the average American man in 1990, for example, it was 180 pounds. Fast forward to 2020, and the average weight was 200 pounds. In just 30 years, people went up by an average of 20 pounds. It’s a significant issue, especially if these lifts are being performed by nurses who are significantly smaller than their own patients.

Aren’t there ways to avoid injury?

People sometimes attempt to blame nurses by saying that they should’ve just worked with a team or used certain safety devices to make the lift without injury. And it is true that devices and team members can both help and should be used when possible.

However, it is unfair to blame nurses because they often do not have any say in the matter. The hospital may not have the right lifting devices, or they may not be available. In some cases, a patient needs to be lifted or moved in an emergency. The hospital may be understaffed and the nurse doesn’t have anyone to help them. They still attempt to assist the patient because they know it’s important, but they get hurt in the process. Those who have been injured need to know what legal options they have.

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