unconscious patients and stairs

leonardo pistachio

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I am looking for any suggestions on how to bring down that dreaded, 200+ pound unresponsive patient, down three flights of stairs. Unfortunately, our private service does not provide stair chairs. I am looking for a more efficient way to do so, because this whole backboard thing is getting old quick...
 

18G

Paramedic
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Use a Reeves stretcher. It has six hand holds, semi-flexible, holds a lot of weight, and has straps incorporated into it to secure the patient. They are slightly easier to get around corners too.

You wouldn't really put a 200lb unconscious on a stair chair even if your company did have them would you? lol.
 

leonardo pistachio

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My apologies, I really have no experience with a stair chair, so I do not know what would be contraindicated. I am just curious, as to how large urban services, take these patients down multiple flights of stairs. I suppose FD assistance and good 'ol sweat and tears is the norm?
 

Akulahawk

EMT-P/ED RN
Community Leader
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Ready bed or a litter of some sort... with the patient WELL secured. Not to mention possibly calling the FD for manpower assistance.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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My apologies, I really have no experience with a stair chair, so I do not know what would be contraindicated. I am just curious, as to how large urban services, take these patients down multiple flights of stairs. I suppose FD assistance and good 'ol sweat and tears is the norm?
wasn't carrying devices covered in your EMT class??? stairchairs are usually required equipment (but apparently not in texas)

If you have a carry down an unconscious person, Reeves stretchers usually work the best http://www.reevesems.com/Products/StretchersImobilization.aspx?ProductID=31

if you have a possibly spinal injury, Reeves sleeves work awesomely. they are pricey, but awesome. http://www.reevesems.com/Products/StretchersImobilization.aspx?ProductID=39 my agency has one on every ambulance and one of our heavy rescue

200 lbs isn't two bad for 2 people, 275+ is def time to consider extra help.

you can use a backboard, if you secure the person well, but a Reeves stretcher works significantly better.
 

leonardo pistachio

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Yes of course it was covered, and it was refreshed in Paramedic school, no reason to be a smart***. Here in south Texas buildings sprawl outwards rather than upwards, so a stair chair would be an unnecessary luxury for us here as we rarely encounter a staircase. I was curious as to how some of you fellow EMS providers out there that routinely "extricate" patients from third or fourth floor walk- ups, do so without blowing out your back in the process.
 

JPINFV

Gadfly
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This comes down to anything that works. This would be a situation where a backboard would be useful, especially if there is plenty of room on the landings. If the stairs are a straight shot, consider using an extraction basket or backboard as a sled. Similarly, if need be, rest the backboard on the railing to help pivot it around the landing. The more is definitely the merrier, but more people does not always solve all problems.
 

rescue99

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I am looking for any suggestions on how to bring down that dreaded, 200+ pound unresponsive patient, down three flights of stairs. Unfortunately, our private service does not provide stair chairs. I am looking for a more efficient way to do so, because this whole backboard thing is getting old quick...
Pole stretchers...
 
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mycrofft

Still crazy but elsewhere
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Tempting to say "Elevator?".

Lots of hands, and NOT on the full-on ambulance litter. Other than that, it's a matter of shopping for the device you want.
 

Sasha

Forum Chief
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Firefighters. :) At least that's what I do when the patient is too heavy for us to negotiate them (for me it's usually up stairs) or down a long narrow hallway.
 

abckidsmom

Dances with Patients
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And without a reeve's stretcher or a stair chair, there's always the good old 2-person carry. I've been surprised a couple of times recently that my partners were not familiar with how to reach under the patient's arms, grab their wrists and hold them to their chests while the other partner gets the legs.

Quick, easy and works without extra equipment. Several breaks would be involved with 3 flights of stairs, though.
 

Archymomma

Forum Crew Member
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Call for fire assist.

Unconscious pt's we generally use a backboard. We have moved a pt downstairs on one with just the two of us (medic and myself) but they were smaller people and it was a straight/easy stairway. For anything else we call for fire assist.
 

NomadicMedic

EMS Edumacator
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As everyone else has said, there are a ton of options.

Scoop Stretcher (or "clamshell")


MegaMover (the "whale tarp")


The Reeves


The Reeves Sleeve


Backboard Wheels


Breakaway flat


...or the good ol' fashioned Chair carry.


Frankly, moving an unconscious 200 pounder on a backboard seems like the right choice to me. After all, how many times a month are you lugging an unconscious patinet down three flights of stairs?

However, if your service won't supply you with the right tools to do your job, you need to start making some noise.
 
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medicsb

Forum Asst. Chief
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Ask your employers to compare the cost to stock all ambulances with stair-chairs versus the cost of one lawsuit from an employee injured while moving a patient down stairs without the proper equipment.
 
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