One of the most flexible stretchers made today is the stretcher/chair. These types of stretchers are a multiple purpose solution for many applications, because the product can be used like a stretcher and also used in the chair position. This versatility is invaluable for facilities with space constraints, as well as many other advantages. Facilities may also save money by purchasing a stretcher chair instead of a separate stretcher and step-down recovery recliner for patients in the recovery / PACU area. Lastly, patient flow and comfort are enhanced, because the patient does not have to be transferred from stretcher to recliner, only repositioned. This also saves the staff time in the process.
Stretcher chairs have most of the same features as a regular stretcher, including trendelenburg/reverse trendelenburg, hydraulic height adjustment, and adjustable backrest. The stretcher chairs also have patient side rails, O2 tank holders (well) and optional IV poles. Weight and dimensions vary by manufacturer, but most mainstream models are very similar. An independent leg section feature is a must in situations where the patient’s leg section is required to be positioned independently of the backrest, instead of the leg section movement coinciding with the position of the backrest (much like a typical household recliner). This is an optional upgrade on some models. Fold down footrests for the patient’s feet to rest on while in an upright seated position is also standard equipment in most cases.
The Stryker 5050 is one of the most popular stretcher chairs sold today. The 5050 has a 400 lbs weight capacity and dual pedestal hydraulics, making a very stable platform for the patient. Brake and steer “butterfly” pedals are on each side of the stretcher base. The Stryker 5050 also has fold down side rails with arm pads and a pneumatic assisted backrest (fowler). Stryker also manufactures another similar model, the 5051, which is designed for procedures related to the head, specifically eyes. When used for ophthalmic or facial procedures, this stretcher can come with a dual articulating headrest for maximum manipulation of the patient position during surgery.
The Hausted (Steris) APC chair is another popular model. APC stands for “All Purpose Chair” and has been in production for well over a decade. These stretcher chairs have a single pedestal hydraulic system for height adjustment and brake and steer pedals on all 4 corners of the base. The APC has fold under side rails with arm pads on top for when the patient is seated upright. This stretcher chair also has a pneumatically assisted backrest (fowler).
Wy’East also manufacturers a version of the stretcher chair, called the Totalift II. This unit has some different design ideas that are unique, including a patient transfer system which utilizes a plastic surface which can slide the patient safely and with minimal effort to another apparatus utilizing a hand crank. The WyEast Totalift II also has an O2 tank holder in the back of the chair on the backrest. Another key point of the Totalift II is that it has an extremely narrow overall width, which at 27” makes it possible to utilize this unit in even tighter spaces. It also has all of the standard features of its competitors, and is rated at a 400 lbs maximum patient weight capacity.
If you do not have the budget for new stretcher chairs and need to consider a refurbished stretcher or stretchers, always make sure you buy from a reputable and knowledgeable dealer with the ability to refurbish your stretcher properly so you can get maximum value out of your purchase.
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