In an emergency situation where a patient requires some sort of medical attention, it becomes imperative that he/she is provided with the proper medical care as quickly as possible without even a split second’s time waste as sometimes that can mean the difference between life and death. In order to get a patient to a proper location where adequate medical services are provided, there has always been one significant apparatus that has allowed the patients to be moved in a secure and safe manner. This is non-other than the infamous ‘Stretcher’ and it has come a long way from its initial form which was made out of simple canvas and wooden poles.
Advancements in Design
With the development of technology, the basic stretchers were improved to be much more flexible, light weight and this allowed the patients, the best level of comfort while they were being transported. Aluminium and stainless steel tubing were major components used for these improvements and they were also able to withstand rusting as well. Other important substances that further enhanced the durability of these stretchers were plastics that were moulded and fiberglass. They allowed the stretchers to be made in such a way that they could be easily assembled and could give a high degree of comfort to the injured. Many of these stretchers were also equipped with additional features like points that allowed them to be attached to any sort of sling, extra strappings for added safety and even custom-fitted backboards, neck braces, etc.
The Different Types
Among the various types of stretchers available, the most common one is, of course, the pole stretchers which although have not changed much over time, have become sturdier with the aid of metal tubing and synthetic fabrics. The other famous stretcher types are basket stretchers that could be easily bent which allows more flexibility and with the addition of shells made of polyethylene; these durable stretchers have become waterproof too. And last but not least, the Neil Robertson stretcher has also become world renowned due to its ability to be successfully used emergency situations that might occur in ships. Their slim design allows for better access on board a ship so patients can be efficiently retrieved with the help of them.
The Importance of These
In which ever sizes/heights/designs they come in, these stretchers have been the main apparatus that has allowed us to carry people who have been met with casualties safely so that they can be quickly treated. Nowadays, they are even equipped with hydraulics systems that are battery powered which allows for a smooth collapse/rise of the stretchers thus relieving the excess pressures that are put on emergency medical services (EMC) personnel. And even though the basic designs for these stretchers have not changed much throughout the years, technological advancements have made these stronger and durable which has allowed them to be trusted in any sort of emergency situation(s).
So whether it is in our homes/workplaces, natural disaster situations, on the battlefield, etc. this essential equipment has aided in saving countless lives from centuries ago and will continue to do so for many more years to come for sure.