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Inflatable stretcher secures patients

Swatches | October 1, 2022 | By:

With fold-up sides, a head immobilizer and built-in straps, the stretcher securely wraps patients in comfort and protects them from falling. Photos: Shih Chien University

An industrial design student at Shih Chien University in Taiwan has invented an inflatable stretcher made of reinforced vinyl to securely hold a patient immobile while being transported. This is important especially in the case of broken bones, back, neck and head trauma. Yu-Hsin Wu’s stretcher folds compactly for easy storage and can be inflated on the spot by means of an air pump. As with other medical products, the stretcher’s red and white shades are an international signal in an emergency. 

The stretcher comes with an inflatable first aid kit with commonly used medical equipment.

The stretcher design can be used to transport patients in different disasters and emergencies such as earthquakes and tsunamis, as well as to transport the injured from homes, sports venues, and even isolated places to the nearest hospital or health-care facility.

When inflated, the stretcher has an abundance of compartments on its sides that can hold the equipment required during the rescue and double as a container for what the medical assistants might need to bring with them. 

The stretcher also comes with a vacuum splint that wraps around the injured limb and becomes rigid when air is expelled.

Wu has designed two other components to accompany the stretcher. First, an inflatable-vacuum splint and air pump wrap around the broken limb when inflated. When air is expelled, the splint becomes rigid, providing stability and immobilization of the limb.

Finally, a built-in first aid kit comes with numerous pockets to stash medical accessories. Wu even printed an evaluation-awareness warning on the side of the bag to remind the users what to do when they approach an emergency. The illustration provides step-by-step instructions for a user to prepare a patient for transport.

Although it stores compactly, the stretcher inflates to an adult-sized, secure transport system.

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