If there is one thing that we have learnt during the coronavirus pandemic, it is the demand for necessary equipment on the frontlines.
Most people would presume that the most critical resources are PPEs, testing kits and ventilators. But while that is true, there are other, less recognised assets that are still vital for the situation faced by hospitals and clinics around the world. Take the transfer stretcher as an example.
Now, to understand this stretcher’s importance, one must first look to the importance of flattening the curve. It is based on one difficult truth: no healthcare system, no matter how advanced, has infinite resources. And it must be stressed, resources are not just limited to the most important tools.
Beds are finite. The same goes for thermometers. Sterilisers can only clean so many tools in a given cycle. So obviously, stretchers are not far from the picture.
In fact, they’re right in the thick of it as hospitals worldwide are stretched to their limits due to the pandemic. Still, they remain another particular asset that not many people look twice at despite proving vital in the midst of this growing turmoil.
This can prove dangerous, as it risks turning tools like transfer stretchers into a logistical afterthought. Just consider the following features that modern stretchers possess, and what they do for a hospital straining from a Coronavirus outbreak.
1. Quick Side Rail Installation
As a hospital is in the midst of admitting, treating and even releasing patients who have recovered Covid-19, there will be a large volume of traffic as people are frequently transferred throughout the course of their confinement and treatment.
Hence, that is why modern transfer stretchers are often built with side rail installation systems that are quick to work with. This allows nurses to move patients faster, with less undue discomfort on the patients’ part.
2. Ergonomic Controls
There’s a reason why today’s stretchers have virtually the same set of controls in equidistant parts. This is part of ergonomic design, a means to allow handling of the stretcher without additional movement or stress on the part of the practitioner.
And in some cases, it can also speed up procedures like X-rays as these same controls allow quick Trendelenburg positioning. In an urgent hospital situation where every second counts, such controls can mean a great difference in wait times.
3. X-Ray Translucent Mattress
Speaking of which, chest x-rays are playing an active role in the diagnosis of COVID-19. That means it’s no surprise that x-ray translucent mattresses go a long way to help with the demand. Having this as a feature of a transfer stretcher means a patient can be rolled up for an x-ray and still expect a clear image as a result.
This too plays an important role in streamlining the process of COVID-19 treatment. Diagnosis has proven to be among the biggest challenges posed by the novel coronavirus. Anything that can speed up testing will lead to more treatment, and therefore less risks of hospitals going over capacity.
Take note, these only describe how these features work in the context of a busy hospital. You can still take it further and imagine how these stretchers are also important when frontliners are taking ambulances outside. It just goes to show that one should not underestimate the true number of necessary resources to combat the current pandemic.