A cardiac chair is designed specifically for the recovering cardiac patient, but is also used for the patient with respiratory illness. The chair can be folded completely out to become a bed or moved into an upright chair position while the patient is still on it. A cardiac chair makes it possible for a patient to go from sitting to standing without putting a strain on sutures. It is also used to encourage the patient to sit up, which speeds recovery.
Respiratory and cardiac patients recover from illness and surgeries more quickly if they become ambulatory as soon as possible following their medical event. Cardiac chairs ease patients into walking by moving them into various positions without causing strain to their bodies. It is important to check that the cardiac chair is in good working order before attempting to use it.
Though the cardiac chair has several adjustable areas, including arm, body, and back pieces, care should be taken to properly use the chair so that risk of injury to medical staff and patient is reduced. When transferring a patient laterally, more than one caregiver should be involved. For particularly heavy patients, more than two caregivers should be considered.
It is important to be sure all wheels are locked before moving a patient into a new position. Wheels that are not locked can move across the floor as soon as the patient's weight is shifted. Once the wheels are securely locked in place, the cardiac chair is ready to use.
For exceptionally heavy patients, or patients who are uncooperative, motorized cardiac chairs should be considered. This will further reduce the risk of injury to patients and medical staff members by decreasing the need for physical exertion. In addition, family members of the patient can easily help with patient care once the patient is released to the house or a nursing facility.
Cardiac chairs can be used to move patients from place to place. For example, if a patient needs to go to physical therapy or wants to sit outside in the sun for a while, the chair may be used as long as precautions are taken. Bedding should be lifted up and secured so it does not fall and become entangled in the wheels. In addition, the patient should be placed at the center of the chair so there is less risk of falling.