History of the mobile patient lift or “steel nurse”

The first mobile patient lift was developed in the 40s...

The history of the patient lift goes way back. Ted Hoyer, an American who was completely paralyzed from the neck down at the age of 16 after a car accident, developed between 1940 and 1950 the first mobile patient lift: the Hoyer hoist (= lift).

His invention was a great success and so others soon followed him in the production of mobile lifts. It was a Dutchman who developed a lift in 1964 that was imported by the British: the “Steel Nurse”.

In the meantime there have been many new developments and the mobile patient lift has undergone a metamorphosis. Manual pumping on a lever is no longer necessary, everything is electrically powered now. But that colourful name, “the steel nurse”, has remained in the professional language of caregivers.


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