What is an In Situ sling?
In Situ slings (formerly called all day slings) are a type of sling that can be left underneath a user for a limited amount of time. They are called in situ slings as they can be left “In Situation” or underneath a user for a limited period of time.
Why would I use an In Situ sling?
There are a number of reasons why in situ slings are used, however it is important to remember they are not a substitute for good nursing care. Factors that might indicate a strong case for the use of in situ slings include
- Where it is extremely difficult to remove the sling from beneath a patient, for example if they have a moulded wheelchair or for users that have very low body tone.
- To save time – situations where removing the sling is time consuming and a large number of transfers are being carried out daily.
- To save distress to the user associated with removing the sling.
- If the user has fragile skin, removing the sling could cause shear damage to the skin.
How long can I leave an in situ sling underneath a user?
As stated above, an in situ sling is not a substitute for quality nursing care, and the length of time you can leave a sling underneath a user depends on a number of factors. A documented risk assessment and care plan must always be carried out on an in situ sling prior to use, and the results of this will determine the amount of time a sling can be left underneath a user. Factors to consider may include.
- Does the user have any skin integrity issues?
- Are they liable to overheating?
- How tight is the fit of the wheelchair?
- How comfortable is the sling when in place/
What sizes are available?
In situ slings are available in a wide range of sizes to suit most needs. They are very common in schools, where parents/carers can put the sling on in the morning, ready for care staff to hoist immediately at school. The following standard sizes are kept in stock.
- XXXS – XS for Children – Up to 58 Kg
- Small – Large for adults
- XXL – XXXL for larger adults – Up to 220 Kg
- Custom made slings are also available for users with specific needs such as Scoliosis or Kyphosis
What fabrics are available?
In situ slings are available in a range of fabrics to suit users needs. The most common fabrics are listed below.
- Superfine – a very fine mesh fabric with Coolmax to prevent overheating in the sling. Ideal for children and small adult, only available for weights up to 58kg.
- Superfine Plus – A High performance mesh fabric offering superior comfort. The mesh is breathable, helping to combat overheating and compresses to provide high levels of comfort and support. The Safe Working Load is 220kg. SUITABLE FOR BATHING
- Superfine Coolmax – COOLMAX fabric is designed to move moisture away from the body and enhance fabric drying rate thus keeping users feeling cool and dry. A double layer gives a weight capacity of up to 220 kg SUITABLE FOR BATHING.
- Parasilk – The original In situ fabric, parasilk has become less popular as it is extremely slippery, leading to repositioning issues, and it can also get very hot. It is now mainly used for moulded wheelchairs, where the user is fitted very tightly into the chair.
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