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Monday, July 22, 2013
Hoyer Lifts Versus Engine Hoists
Above is a hoyer lift. The hoyer lift also known as the patient lift was invented in 1955 by R.R Stratton. The design of what became known as the hoyer lift has not changed since it was invented. The idea for the hoyer lift was based on automotive repair shops. Engine hoists were widely used as an inexpensive way of lifting an engine out of a car. In fact in the patent Stratton identified the lift as an "automotive engine hoist". Today, hoyer lifts are used in virtually every hospital and nursing home in the country. Many variations of the hoyer lift exist. The legs of the lift are adjustable, a multitude of slings exist, and many are powered by electricity. In a clinical setting two people are supposed to be present when using a hoyer lift to transfer a patient. In the home setting one person can easily operate a hoyer lift. Many companies manufacture hoyer lifts and multiple videos can be found at You Tube about how they are operated. Cost depends upon the bells and whistles. Generally, hoyer lifts sell for as little as $1,200 and well in excess of $4,500. The cost of the lift does not include the sling. Slings cost at least $150.
It is one thing to state a hoyer lift is similar in design to an engine hoist another to see it.
The hoyer lift is institutional gray. The wheels are slightly larger and some padding has been added. But the mechanics of the design are virtually identical. In fact the engine hoist is far more powerful, that is it can lift more weight, than the hoyer lift. The engine hoist is fire engine red, a color that appeals to me. Let me ask a simple question: which lift would you want sitting in your bed room? A brand new engine hoist can lift up to a ton. At a tractor supply store the cost would be $205. Used models abound for about $125.
I would like an answer to a simple question: why is the cost disparity so stark? The design of a hoyer lift and engine hoist have not changed in decades. A $200 engine hoist can lift a ton. A hoyer lift that can lift a person up to 500 pounds puts one squarely into the $4,500 and up price range. I am not an economist by any stretch of the imagination but this is wrong. And who is getting screwed? Who is being gauged? The most vulnerable among us, people who simply need help transferring.