Southern Indiana Rehab Hospital Receives New Technology with Help from Horseshoe Foundation Grant

7/24/2012

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New ambulation device helps ensure patient and caregiver safety;

New Albany, Ind.—Southern Indiana Rehab Hospital (SIRH) received a gift of new technology for patient care thanks in part to an $8,986 grant from the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County.

The grant helped fund the purchase of three Stand-to-Sit/Ambulation Aid devices that are used by clinical and physical therapy personnel to assist patients in walking and standing.  The device enables patients to move safely from a sitting position to a standing position, increasing muscle strength, circulation and mobility.   It has straps that help to secure the patient during movement.

The device provides therapists another tool to transition patients from the use of the parallel bars to a walker when working to regain the ability to walk. In addition, the device can be used as an alternative to multiple person transfers and helps clinical caregivers transfer patients from, for example, the bed to the bathroom, while ensuring the safety of both the patient and the caregiver.   

Healthcare workers are more likely to compromise their own safety rather than the safety of the patient when a patient becomes unstable during a transfer or therapy.  Using the device assists healthcare workers to meet the physical needs of the patient without compromising our team members’ health and safety.

“We are grateful for the support of the Horseshoe Foundation and its efforts to help us continue to provide the highest quality of care for our patients,” said Randy Napier, president and CEO of SIRH.  “Having the funding and access to the latest technology available benefits SIRH and the 4,000 men, women and children we care for each year in our community.”

The Sit-to-Stand device is already helping patients at SIRH, like Steven Frederick, a 20-year old Indiana resident who is working hard to regain strength in his legs and walk again.  Frederick contracted viral meningitis and developed tracheal stenosis, or narrowing of the trachea.  Following surgery, he remained sedated for 10 days. During that time, he suffered significant muscle atrophy and lost strength in his muscles. 

Frederick has benefited from the use of the Sit-to-Stand device during his inpatient care at SIRH.

“It allows me to walk, but still be safe,” said Frederick who at 6’4” towers over his physical therapist, Angela Snyder, who is only 5’2”. “I know if something goes wrong, or my knees buckle, I have a safety net.”

Frederick can walk using a walker, but alternating the walker with the Sit-to-Stand device is helping him to build stamina.  

“The new device enables Steven to walk further and improve his endurance,” Snyder said.  “It also helps him to push himself during therapy. It’s a nice tool for us to transition patients from walking along the parallel bars, which is only 10 feet, to a walker.”

Using the device, patients like Steven are able to build up strength and set further distance goals. Snyder says the wheels on the device also allows for more realistic walking, compared to a walker.

“If I pull the device quicker, I can help Steven improve his pace,” she said. “Eventually, he will be able to let go of the bars and swing his arms in a more natural stride.  The walker doesn’t allow us to practice that motion.” 

SIRH currently has three Sit-to-Stand devices.  Two that can lift patients up to 400 lbs. and one for patients who weigh more than 400 lbs.  The Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County funded 40 percent of the cost to purchase the devices.  Approximately 40 percent of the patients treated each year at SIRH are from Floyd County.


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About SIRH

Southern Indiana Rehab Hospital is a 60-bed facility owned and operated by Frazier Rehab Institute, Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services, and Clark Memorial Hospital.  Since 1994, SIRH has been providing inpatient and outpatient physical, occupational, speech and psychology therapy services to children and adults suffering from injuries, illnesses and disabilities.
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