July 12th, 2024

New equipment to take strain off paramedics

By Gillian Slade on July 14, 2017.

Medicine Hat News

New power lift stretchers and load systems for paramedics were announced Thursday.

More than 350 Alberta Health Services ground ambulances will be fitted with the new equipment that includes battery-powered hydraulic stretchers to lift up to 317 kg without strain. Repetitive patient lifting is one of the leading causes of injury to paramedics.

The equipment was tested in a pilot program for eight inter-facility transfer vehicles in 2015. In an 18-month period not a single lift-related injury was reported by staff using the new equipment, according to a press release. In the same time-frame 84 patient-handling injuries were reported by EMS staff working on vehicles without the lifts.

The investment will be $20 million, and installation will begin this summer on ambulances across the province. The work is expected to be complete by spring 2018.

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