Motorized-Drive Stretchers and Stretcher-Chairs: The Basics

August 13, 2014 | Evaluations & Guidance


Motorized-drive stretchers are similar to standard stretchers in that their purpose is to permit one or two attendants (e.g., nurse, physician, aide) to transport a recumbent patient safely and expediently within a healthcare facility. Unlike standard stretchers, they incorporate an electronic motor to provide forward and reverse movement. A related type of device, motorized-drive stretcher-chairs, have the additional capability to change to a wheeled chair (and back again to a stretcher) without the need to transfer the patient. Both types of devices are marketed as an effective way to reduce clinician back strain and effort, to transport bariatric patients, and to more easily move patients up and down inclines.

Because care of ER, OR, and ICU patients often continues as they are being transferred between areas of the hospital, most stretchers can be accessorized to accommodate IV poles, patient monitors, oxygen tanks, articulating headpieces, and other equipment. They can function as a procedural platform ranging from simple ED treatments to outpatient surgical procedures (e.g., ophthalmology, endoscopy, general surgery). They also occasionally function as beds in some intensive and specialized care units and are pressed into service as hospital beds during disasters and other times of high patient census (though some models are specifically designed for short-term use and are not intended to be used as a bed).

Because they are more sophisticated than their standard stretcher...

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