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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 you transfer.
Make sure there is as little distance as possible between the transfer surfaces. If the distance is too great, use a transfer board. It can bridge the gap between the two transfer surfaces, making it easier.
Lock your wheelchair. And be sure that the other surface won't move.
Be aware of objects your skin can scrape against during the transfer. This scraping can cause pressure injuries.
If you can, 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. Make sure that 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 help with.
Current as of: December 13, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Nancy Greenwald MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
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