Illustration of chair stretcher, "On the Transport of sick and wounded troops", A wounded knight is carried on a medieval stretcher.
An early stretcher, likely made of wicker over a frame, appears in a manuscript from c. Marines in a training environment in December Marines transport a non-ambulatory patient via litter , outside of Fallujah , Iraq in EMS stretchers used in ambulances have wheels that makes transportation over pavement easier, and have a lock inside the ambulance and straps to secure the patient during transport.
An integral lug on the stretcher locks into a sprung latch within the ambulance in order to prevent movement during transport. Modern stretchers may also have battery-powered hydraulics to raise and collapse the legs automatically. This eases the workload on EMS personnel, who are statistically at high risk of back injury from repetitive raising and lowering of patients.
Specialized bariatric stretchers are also available, which feature a wider frame and higher weight capacity for heavier patients. Stretchers are usually covered with a disposable sheet or wrapping, and are cleaned after each use to prevent the spread of infection. Shelves, hooks and poles for medical equipment and intravenous medication are also frequently included.
Standard stretchers have several adjustments. The bed can be raised or lowered to facilitate patient transfer. The head of the stretcher can be raised so that the patient is in a sitting position especially important for those in respiratory distress or lowered flat in order to perform CPR , or for patients with suspected spinal injury who must be transported on a spinal board. The feet can be raised to what is called the Trendelenburg position , indicated for patients in shock.
Some manufacturers have begun to offer hybrid devices that combine the functionality of a stretcher, a recliner chair, and a treatment or procedural table into one device. They are lightweight and portable, made of canvas or other synthetic material suspended between two poles or tubular aluminum frame.
Many are stored as disaster supplies and are often former military equipment. The folding stretcher, also known as a top deck or collapsible stretcher, is similar in design to the simple stretcher, but features one or more hinged points of articulation to allow the stretcher to be collapsed into a more compact form for easier handling or storage.
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Some models may even allow the patient to sit upright in a Fowler's or Semi-Fowler's position. The scoop stretcher is used for lifting patients, for instance from the ground onto an ambulance stretcher or onto a spinal board. The two ends of the stretcher can be detached from each other, splitting the stretcher into two longitudinal halves.
To load a patient, one or both ends of the stretcher are detached, the halves placed under the patient from either side and fastened back together. With obese patients, the possibility exists of accidentally pinching the patient's back when closing the stretcher, so care must be made not to injure them when carrying out this procedure.
The litter , also known as a rescue basket or Stokes basket, is designed to be used where there are obstacles to movement or other hazards: Typically it is shaped to accommodate an adult in a face up position and it is used in search and rescue operations. The person is strapped into the basket, making safe evacuation possible.
After the person is secured in the litter, the litter may be wheeled, carried by hand, mounted on an ATV, towed behind skis, snowmobile, or horse, lifted or lowered on high angle ropes, or hoisted by helicopter. A Reeves Sleeve, SKED, or "flexible stretcher" is a flexible stretcher that is often supported longitudinally by wooden or plastic planks.
It is a kind of tarpaulin with handles.
It is primarily used to move a patient through confined spaces, e. Reeves stretchers have six handholds, allowing multiple rescuers to assist extrication. The patient is secured to the board with straps. It has two wheels and a foldable footrest at one end, allowing the patient to be moved by one person, much as with a hand truck for moving cargo.
It can also be used at a variety of angles, making it easier to traverse obstacles, such as tight stairwells.
Normally, an integral lug on the stretcher locks into a sprung latch within the ambulance in order to prevent movement during transport. It is usually covered with a disposable sheet and cleaned after each patient in order to prevent the spread of infection. Its key value is to facilitate moving the patient and sheet onto a fixed bed or table on arrival at the emergency department.
Both types may have straps to secure the patient. Other types of stretchers[ edit ] The Nimier stretcher brancard Nimier was a type of stretcher used by the French army during World War I.
The casualty was placed on their back, but in a "seated position", that is, the thighs were perpendicular to the abdomen. Thus, the stretcher was shorter and could turn in the trenches. This type of stretcher is rarely seen today.
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