Powered Lifts for Bariatric Patients

Powered Lifts for Bariatric Patients

By John Erich Feb 23, 2011

As the largest nonemergency transport company in its state, MedRide Oklahoma Critical Care Transport gets an insider’s view of patient trends. And like leaders elsewhere in the U.S., MedRide administrators have seen a growing need to serve bariatric patients. This led the service to develop the only fully equipped bariatric transport unit in Oklahoma. The MICU-equipped ambulance has a Mac Lift that will raise up to 1,300 lbs. of patient and equipment and can carry any of MedRide’s four Ferno POWERFlexx powered ambulance cots, which will lift up to 700 pounds of patient or hold 1,000-plus pounds in the lowered position.
With its push/pull handles, the POWERFlexx can be moved in the lowered position with less stress on responders’ backs. That’s a major safety benefit. “Since we’ve moved to the power solutions for our stretchers,” says MedRide Field Operations Supervisor Brent Gosnell, NREMT-P, “we have not had one back injury while using them.”
Other POWERFlexx features include an all-metal frame to provide strength and durability; a five-position drop frame and multiposition foot-end lift bar that reduce the cot’s length for movement in confined spaces and provide a true 360-degree turning radius in the lowest position; reflective labeling for nighttime visibility; and a 24-volt DC power pack with hydraulic actuator and dual lifting cylinders to provide smooth operation.
A Ferno LBS Jr. Bariatric Board attaches to the cots to widen them by approximately eight inches. The LBS Jr. folds flat for easy storage, and folding “wings” reduce its profile for maneuverability through doorways.
Beyond provider safety, another reward for such an investment comes for the patients it carries.
“That person is already embarrassed enough having to call an ambulance,” says Gosnell. “The last thing the bariatric patient wants is to make more of a spectacle of himself by having another fire truck in front of his house or eight people gathered around the cot just to get him into the ambulance.”
For more, visit www.ferno.com.

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