Gel Ovations SlingGel Protection

Prevent and Protect Pressure Ulcers During Transfers

Clients with pressure care needs are at their most vulnerable to further injury when being transferred in hoist slings as their entire weight is subjecting their skin to the heightened pressure against seams and sling edges.

Suitable for all types of hoist slings, our SlingGel pads are the solution to these problems. They guard the skin against shear and friction, preventing pressure injuries and reducing the risk of existing pressure ulcers becoming more acute.

Download our Award-winning Research Poster

Gel Ovations has been awarded Best Research Poster at the Society of Tissue Viability Conference 2022.

The poster explores the prevention of pressure ulcers when transferring patients in a hoist and sling. It proposes skin care strategies including the use of SlingGel which produced a 53.5% reduction in average interface pressure.

How Our SlingGel Protectors Work

Inserting and removing slings can often cause shear and friction to the skin. Slings can cause pressure on the skin, especially around the sacrum, coccyx, buttocks, and underneath the upper legs.

Clients can find this very uncomfortable and painful, which can deter them from being hoisted or they can become agitated or upset during hoisting activities.

Pressure ulcers develop extremely quickly and it is essential that if a sling is marking or affecting a pressure ulcer that action is taken immediately to prevent skin breakdown. This is where SlingGel protection comes in, effectively preventing skin damage during transfers.

Photo demonstrates red marks on skin caused by the rims of a sling impacting on the client’s leg, after just 1 minute in the hoist.

Sling Risk Areas

If a rim of a sling is on a pressure ulcer, there is a high risk that it will cause further damage and open the wound. Using Gel Sling Protectors eliminates this risk.

Where dressings are in place, the gel pads will also protect the area and help prevent the dressing from moving.

Our illustration shows the key areas of the body most vulnerable to pressure injuries during sling transfers. These hotspot areas are protected by our Gel Sling Protectors.

Benefits of Gel Ovations SlingGel Protection

“As an Occupational Therapist specialising in Moving and Handling, I am always trying to avoid Shear and Friction when assisting clients with Moving and Handling tasks. I often use the small flat gel pads in combination with a sling if an individual has very vulnerable skin or a pressure ulcer to reduce shear and friction and to improve their comfort when being hoisted.

If they have a pressure ulcer or are at risk of developing a pressure area where the rim of the sling is, I will insert a gel pad between the skin and the sling to protect the area and reduce the risk of pressure and shear. This is a quick, effective and low cost solution. Pressure ulcers can develop very quickly. It is important to action and reduce the risk as soon as possible. Changing a sling can more timely, this can be a short term solution for the interim or a long term solution for a sling that is working well.”

Danielle Base, Specialist Occupational Therapist

“When I am referred to an urgent case I always recommend and provide the Gel Ovations SlingGel pads to insert where the sling is causing marking. This is to reduce the shear and friction on the area and protect the area at risk.”

Danielle Base, Specialist Occupational Therapist

Case Studies

The following are clinical examples of patients with pressure care needs being helped through the use of Gel Ovations SlingGel Protectors during hoist transfers.

Mrs. J, a determined 69-year-old lady with Multiple Sclerosis, had developed a pressure ulcer on her sacrum. This was due to sitting in her wheelchair in the same position for long periods of time during the day.

She needed to be hoisted for carers to attend to her personal care.  However, when the sling was inserted, the rim impacted her pressure ulcer and when being hoisted caused Mrs. J a lot of pain. This reached the point of her becoming very distressed and refusing care.  

The OT  inserted the sling and an 8”x 8” ¼” Gel Ovations SlingGel Protector with the assistance of a slide glove.  This enabled Mr. J to tolerate being hoisted for personal care and help protect the skin during transfers.  

With the care of District Nurses and the Care Team,  the pressure ulcer healed.  However, as the area was still vulnerable, they continued to use the gel pad to prevent any further pressure issues in this area and made Gel Ovations SlingGel protectors part of their daily pressure care regime.

Ms A, a 55-year-old lady with arthritis and fibromyalgia experienced a high level of pain and was finding hoisting very uncomfortable.  The OT was asked to review her slings and improve her comfort. From this assessment it was found that her slings were suitable, they fitted well and met her needs. 

Ms A advised that she experienced the pain underneath her legs when being hoisted, especially against the rims where they were digging in and pinching her skin. 

To relieve the pressure and improve her comfort the OT issued two 10”x8” Gel Ovations SlingGel protectors to insert between her legs and the sling. These proved a success, relieving the pressure, and improving Ms A’s comfort.  The gel pads are used for all transfers and she is much happier. Her carers also reported they are easy to insert and remove with slide gloves.

The SlingGel pads were a much lower cost than prescribing brand new slings that would have still caused discomfort underneath her legs, and were a cost-effective solution that met pressure care needs.