With a donation from Lake Charles Toyota and Tarver Ford, the Christus St. Patrick Hospital Physical Rehabilitation Center has unveiled its new Tran-Sit Car Transfer Simulator. (Rick Hickman / American Press)
Last Modified: Friday, June 06, 2014 4:34 PM
f="mailto:email@example.com"> By Lance Traweek / American Press
The Christus St. Patrick Hospital Physical Rehabilitation Center has a new set of wheels. On Thursday, the hospital unveiled its Tran-Sit Car Transfer Simulator, which will aid in physical rehab and recovery. The goal is for patients to work toward regaining their independence while practicing safe ways to enter and exit a vehicle.
“We treat a number of patients who have debilitating deficits as a result of an illness or injury,” said Donald Lloyd II, hospital administrator.
Prior to their discharge, patients will practice transfer techniques in a clinical setting.
“One of the observations we made with our patients is that patients requested security,” Lloyd said. “They look beyond just walking; they look to establish normal activities. One of the most normal modes of security is to be able to gain that independence of traveling again.”
Thomas Laborde, medical director of the physical rehabilitation unit, said it’s required to train patients and family to safely transfer from a wheelchair to a motor vehicle.
From a lower car to a higher pickup truck, the simulator will allow patients to practice before trying a real transfer.
“It makes for a safer transition from the hospital to the home to the community,” Laborde said. “We are very fortunate to have this extra tool.”
Depending on the physical impairments of the patient, he or she may require the assistance of at least one person to do a pivot transfer. Other patients can transfer themselves.
In addition to simulating a transfer, the car has the capability of determining whether the patient has the reaction time to drive again. The accelerator and brakes will electronically test whether the patient is reacting appropriately.
“It gives us a better feel and detailed evaluation of whether the patient can return to driving,” he said.
At a cost of about $15,000, the simulator was donated by Philip and DeWanna Tarver, owners of Lake Charles Toyota and Tarver Ford.
“I can’t thank the Tarvers enough for their generosity and kindness and their support not only for St. Pat’s but the community,” Lloyd said. “They are wonderful philanthropists, and we’re honored they chose to partner with us in this regard.”