First Aid Skills: How to Carry Someone Heavier Than You

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Patient transfer is an essential skill that you can learn in a basic first aid course. By implementing proper patient transfer techniques, the outcome of the victim can be better improved and further injuries can be prevented. The material posted on this page is for learning purposes only. Take a course today to learn the best, safest and latest carrying techniques.

Things to Consider When Moving a Victim

In emergencies and accidents, it is usually advised to avoid moving the injured person. Waiting for medical help is often the best option. This is especially true if head, neck, or spinal injury is suspected. However, there will be times when the circumstances will necessitate moving or transferring the victim to a safer location before first aid can be initiated.

Pick the Appropriate Technique

There are different transfer and carriage techniques that can be implemented in specific situations. In some cases, first-aiders are confronted by a situation wherein the victim is heavier than the first aider or the first aider is not physically strong. Without proper first aid training, the situation can easily turn into a disaster – – either adding more injury to the victim or hurting the first aider in the process.

Here’s the basic technique on how to lift a victim who is heavier than the first aider:

  • Face the injured person and take by his/her arm
  • Pull the victim’s arm over your shoulder
  • Crouch or kneel down so the victim’s middle is against your shoulder
  • Slowly stand up thrusting with your legs and hips

Don’t Hurt Yourself

Avoid leaning forward so you won’t hurt your back. The victim’s body weight should rest on your hip and leg muscles, and not your back.  If the victim is very heavy and there are bystanders around, you can ask them for help.

Once you are in an upright position, the victim should be hung over your shoulder. Walk around slowly and take the victim to a place of safety. Make sure you do not add injury to victim or injure yourself during the transfer.

Basic first aid courses will train you on the different patient transfer techniques. Qualified instructors will assist you through each of these techniques. Participants will also be asked to go through return demonstrations after the lecture. Each participant is given a chance to perform firsthand the different evacuation techniques that can be done at specific situations.

Different circumstances would require the use of specific evacuation technique. First aiders should not just rush in and grab an injured victim by the feet or cloth. Be sure to choose an appropriate technique that will be effective and least harmful for both the victim and the rescuer.

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The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional

  • All cprlevelc.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.