After your spinal cord injury (SCI), you may need a wheelchair.
Moving from your wheelchair to other locations is known as a transfer. If you
have enough upper body strength, you may be able to do this yourself.
Your injury and strength will determine what type of transfer you do.
But there are general things that are important to know when
Make sure there is as little distance as possible
between the transfer surfaces. If the distance is too great, use a transfer
board. A transfer board can bridge the gap between the two transfer surfaces,
making it easier.
Try to make the two transfer surfaces as close in
height as possible.
Make sure the transfer surfaces are stable.
Lock your wheelchair. And be sure that the other surface won’t
Be aware of objects your skin can scrape against during the
transfer. This scraping can cause pressure injuries.
If you have a catheter, be aware of objects that it can catch
If possible, remove objects that may interfere with your
transfer. This could include arm or leg rests.
If you will be
walking on a floor, be sure you have no-skid shoes and there are no throw rugs
or other objects in the way.
If you worry about being able to
transfer yourself, ask for help. Explain to the person helping you exactly what
you need him or her to do.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD – Family Medicine Martin J. Gabica, MD – Family Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD – Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerNancy Greenwald, MD – Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation