Tips & Advice

Solving Transfers with the Rifton TRAM

Ingenious Solutions from the Field

January 12, 2021 by Elena Noble, MPT

The Rifton TRAM provides smooth, safe and easy transfers. Positioning the body support snugly around the client’s torso is key to a successful transfer. However, sometimes the fixed armrests of a wheelchair get in the way of bringing the TRAM close enough. Furthermore, removing the armrests is a tool-dependent and time-consuming process. Here is a simple way to get the TRAM body-support where you need it without removing the armrests of the wheelchair:

  1. Raise the TRAM so the top of the body support is at height of the axilla.

    A man being transferred out of a wheelchair with a Rifton TRAM
  2. Place the body support around individual and loosely secure the buckle. With buckle closed, the TRAM body support will now fit in between the wheelchair arm rests.

    A man being transferred out of a wheelchair with a Rifton TRAM
  3. Lower the TRAM so that body support is positioned at the base of the trunk.

    A man being transferred out of a wheelchair with a Rifton TRAM
  4. Tighten buckle of body support for snug fit.

    A man being transferred out of a wheelchair with a Rifton TRAM
  5. Complete the transfer.

    A man being transferred out of a wheelchair with a Rifton TRAM

 

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Holly | January 15, 2021

I always appreciate tips shared for using Rifton equipment, including the TRAM, as we have one at our school. One challenge I have with the TRAM for some students is using it with wheelchairs that have built in lateral supports that get in the way even more so than armrests of the chair. The only solution I have come up with is scooting the student/client forward enough in their chair to clear the laterals prior to bringing the TRAM in. This just requires more effort and usually a second person to help stabilize the student without the lateral supports until the tram is securely in place. It seems to work best when the student has a little more trunk control.

Ian Sands | January 15, 2021
So the body support is sufficient for transfers without needing the straps? Are there instances where it would also be sufficient gait training without needing straps? Thank you.
Elena | January 18, 2021
Yes. It is possible to use the body support for transfers and gait training without the leg straps given the client has sufficient leg control and strength. This is a clinical decision that should be made by care providers who know the client's abilities well.
Lisa Arnold | January 23, 2021
Unfortunate Tram doesn't work with Rifton HTS toileting system with the literal supports. Once the literal supports is removed by manually unscrew bolts and nuts , it's hard to put it back at the same place, because there is no marking on it. All literal supports should be swingable. Can't be using tools while naked after shower!