Improving Lives - Khalid's Story

Simple modification of a standard sling gave the solution needed and made a big difference to Khalid's comfort and life.

‘Khalid’* is a 5-year-old boy with cerebral palsy and no head or trunk control.  Additionally, Khalid has severe respiratory problems, resulting in his having to always remain in a supine position. Despite his complex medical challenges, Khalid attends school and requires hoisting both there as well as, of course, at home.  It was apparent from the outset that special consideration needed to be given to Khalid’s circumstances.  With an industry-wide reputation for being able to produce a sling for any situational need, Occupational Therapist Gemma approached Care & Independence for help.

Due to his breathing difficulties, it was quickly deduced that it was essential for Khalid be kept in the supine position during hoisting.  Without any head control there was additionally a requirement to ensure his head was always fully supported as well.  It was further noted that any sling chosen did not require an aperture as the use of toileting padding for Khalid was already implemented.

Having taken everything into account, local Product Specialist and 20+ year veteran of solving complex moving and handling issues, Steve Watson, proposed a bespoke GLOVE InChair LITE sling.  Whilst this sling is normally recommended for in-situ wheelchair use, Steve firmly believed this sling - when modified - would meet the specifics required in Khalid’s case.  

All in-chair slings are made from lightweight breathable fabric, enabling them to remain in-situ for longer periods of time than usual.  As the GLOVE InChair LITE could be kept beneath Khalid until hoisting was required, this would greatly benefit him.  The discomfort and distress Khalid commonly experienced due to the difficulty in his handling, could now be kept to a minimum, whilst also not causing him to overheat during periods of non-handling.  Strap pockets featured as standard would prevent the danger of straps snagging when not in use too.

Furthermore, the GLOVE InChair LITE is a non-apertured sling in a hammock-style fit featuring an integral pommel to give additional user security - ideal for Khalid’s lack of trunk control.  As well as shoulder and leg straps, there is also the benefit from additional waist straps which help prevent hip abduction during lifting and, more importantly in Khalid’s case, can help provide overall trunk stability.  Given that Khalid required horizontal lifting, all straps were lengthened to facilitate a flat lift.  The decision was also taken to only feature the necessary loops to enable a supine lifting position, thus removing risk of the wrong loop attachment accidently being applied. 

In a final modification, the sling size was increased from Khalid’s normal size 4 fit to a Size 6 length.  This extended length gave Khalid even more support along his body – including the full head support previously identified.

Once the personally-tailored GLOVE InChair LITE had been manufactured and delivered, the Occupational Therapist reported that Khalid was using the sling effectively and within weeks placed an order for a second modified sling, such was the modified sling’s success.

*Due to the sensitivities of medical conditions, names have been changed to protect privacy.  Images used are for illustrative purposes only.