Oversized stretchers needed for obese patients - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Oversized stretchers needed for obese patients

May 1, 2006

Albany - It's another sign that people are getting larger. Dougherty County is buying new hydraulic stretchers so paramedics aren't injured lifting obese patients.

E.M.S. Director Bobby Tripp says the new hydraulic stretchers lift with just one press of a button, without manual labor. Tripp says his E.M.T.'s and paramedics are straining their backs lifting obese patients.

"It's not unusual in E.M.S to have patients that are routinely over 300 pounds. Occasionally, we've seen patients over 700 pounds," said Tripp.

The new stretchers can also handle more weight and are wider.

"This is a product that we've been waiting on for years. We think it's going to make a big difference, and it's going to allow people to do their job without getting hurt as much. "

The three new stretchers will cost $26,000. Dougherty E.M.S is also looking into buying a new bariatric ambulance, which is wider to hold larger patients.

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