Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Preventing Stretcher Tipping: A Few Tips and Tricks

by Tom Starke (writer), , June 13, 2017

Stretcher tipping isn’t too uncommon to be honest. Even the most professional and expert paramedics have faced this uncomfortable situation at least once in their career.

The practice is definitely not something to be proud of. After all, stretcher tipping can definitely cause the patient more harm than good if s/he lands on her/his wrong side. Therefore, it’s definitely necessary for the paramedics to pay special attention to the patient at the time of transportation.

Now, in this article we will discuss a few ways to prevent stretcher tipping in the best possible way. But at first, we would like to discuss a few of the most common causes of stretcher tipping and then move over to our prevention tips and tricks. Anyway, let’s take a peek at the causes without further ado.

Causes of ambulance stretcher tipping

Okay, let’s see some of the most common causes of ambulance tipping systematically and serially in this paragraph.

    ·The transportation of patient’s started at a point of time when the ambulance stretcher’s in a loading position and isn’t in a rolling position. This practice signifies too much hurry accompanied with too much carelessness. You need to avoid it as much as possible whatever the situation is.

    ·Patient restraints aren’t used during transportations. According to the manufacturer and the paramedics’ guidelines, the usage of patient restraints is considered to be an absolute must during patient transportation. Not using it again signifies a clear case of carelessness.

    ·Losing control of the stretcher. This happens when the paramedics try to do too much within too little time.

    ·Lateral movement of stretcher as a result of ignorance or carelessness.

    ·Sudden contact with an obstacle. This usually happens as a form of accident.

    ·Incorrect movement of ambulance stretchers on rough terrains.

So that takes care of the causes then. Let’s move over to the tips now.

How to prevent stretcher tipping

Have a sound situational awareness

You have to judge your surroundings well before you delve deep into the job at hand.

Is there any pressure of time? If you are feeling the pressure, set your priorities straight. Your priorities should be the victim(s) and nothing else. You should be steady, organized and careful in your transportation movements.

You should be fast and at the same time, you need to be careful to prevent any form of stretcher tipping which can happen as a result of the circumstances. Fast and steady is your key to success; now that’s difficult indeed.

Make an organized plan in your head before you take the job head-on. Determine the location of the safe zone, the place where you will be transporting the victims for further treatments. Having a clear idea of the safe zone location can save you a whole lot of time. Remember every second’s precious in a disaster.

Use the aid of a friction-reducing device

A friction reducing device can make your task easier and a whole lot easier which can benefit everybody in general.

You can use things like a transfer tarp, slide board, MegaMover or even a simple trash bag to move the patient on to the stretcher. Most ambulance stretchers tip over as a result of wrong transportation of victims from the accident spot to the stretcher itself. The sue of a friction-reducing device can reduce that significantly.

Use the restraints that come with the stretcher

The patient restraints are there for a reason. They are definitely not there as a part of a show. Make sure you use them to perfection.

Once you transfer the victim to the stretcher our first responsibility is to restrain him to the stretcher with the aid of the restraints. This can significantly help in preventing the stretcher from tipping over.

Roll the stretcher carefully

You need to follow a few techniques in the process to get it to perfection.

Roll the stretcher from your waist. The height of elevation should never increase your waist. If it goes beyond that, you will certainly face significant difficulty in having it under control as a result of your increased center of gravity.

You should also roll the stretcher feet-first for maximum patient safety. And always PUSH the stretcher from the direction of the patient’s head. Never PULL it from the direction of the patient’s legs because that can get the stretcher beyond your control in matter of seconds, especially when you least expected it to happen.

Last but not the least, do remember to keep a cool head during the transfer of the victims. Sometimes that’s the only thing you need to ensure a safe patient transportation to your destination. With that, we’ll bring this article to an end for now. Hope you had a good and useful read.

About the Writer

Tom Starke is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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