6 tips for using a medical stretcher


The medical stretcher has come a long way since its birth. Due to design improvements, modern stretchers take up more space and allow EMS professionals to transport patients faster with less physical effort. As with any medical device, safety precautions should be followed.

6 tips for using a medical stretcher

Perform preventive maintenance – Check the stretcher to prevent malfunctions such as it rolling out or collapsing under the patient. In addition to checking for damage, check the wheels to make sure all bolts are tight and firm. When raising the stretcher, the legs should be locked in place and the brakes should keep the stretcher stationary and stable. Defective stretchers can be harmful to medical staff and patients.

Use a stretcher with the right load bearing capacity – A stretcher needs to be able to support the patient’s weight as well as the necessary medical equipment, so it is important to choose the right stretcher for the situation.

Use a stretcher on proper terrain – the safest place to use a wheeled stretcher is flat, level ground. Attempting to use a stretcher on rocks, gravel and uneven ground can cause injury to patients and medical staff.

Practice teamwork – regardless of the patient’s position, he or she must still be lifted onto or transferred to a stretcher. Use appropriate lifting techniques to move the patient to minimize the risk of injury to the patient.

Lock stretcher into place – Once the stretcher is placed in the ambulance, it is important to secure it in place so that paramedics can perform necessary services without having to worry about the stretcher moving during transport.

Do not release the handle until the transfer is complete – ensure that you or another health care professional maintains control of the stretcher until it is handed over to another worker or locked into place.

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These EMS skills, combined with appropriate training, enable paramedics to provide safe, complete and rapid emergency medical care. You can see different models of medical stretchers and learn more about them on our website.

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