Top 4 Most Common Issues With Stretchers | Omnicor Biomedical Services
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Top 4 Most Common Issues With Stretchers

April 4, 2022

Hospitals and surgery centers are stocked full of necessary equipment to save lives and make patients as comfortable as possible. Stretchers are perhaps the most used and most taken for granted piece of essential equipment within a medical facility. They are a necessity to help health care personnel easily transport patients to and from surgery rooms and other locations within the facility.

Stretchers are subject to constant wear and tear and many components of a stretcher will wear out or malfunction over time. Just like with other life-saving and support equipment, it is crucial to inspect your medical facility’s stretchers regularly as well as keep up a routine maintenance schedule.

Not sure what problems to look out for when it comes to the stretchers in your hospital or surgery center? Read on to learn about the four most common issues associated with stretchers.

1. Casters

Casters are crucial to making a stretcher mobile, so they naturally break and deteriorate over time. Three malfunctions in particular are commonly associated with casters. Over time, casters may stop locking properly, have poor calibration with the stretcher’s brakes and steering, or fall off entirely.

If you notice that the casters on one of your surgery center’s stretchers aren’t locking properly, it is wise to first check for debris or other constrictions around the pedals and casters that may be preventing the locking mechanisms from working. If everything seems free and clear of debris, it is possible that there is an issue with the internal components of your stretcher’s locking system and it should be sent in for repairs.

If you are experiencing poor steering with your casters, there is a chance that it is user error rather than mechanical failure. Some stretcher models require you to recalibrate the casters if one was removed or replaced. However, if the stretchers at your medical facility don’t require recalibration or if none of the casters had been recently removed or replaced, then it’s wise to have a medical equipment repair professional take a look.

2. Backrest Gas Cylinder

The backrest gas cylinder on a stretcher encounters a lot of use every day. This constant use can cause the cylinder to wear out quickly. If you notice that the cylinder drifts down after being put into an inclined position, if it can no longer reach its highest point, or if it becomes harder to raise, this could mean that the cylinder is on its last legs and should be serviced as soon as possible. It’s especially important to service your stretcher if the cylinder has become harder to raise, as this causes a greater risk of injury to both your medical facility’s staff and patients.

3. Lift & Articulation Cylinders

The functionality of these cylinders largely depends on your stretcher’s weight capacity. Not all cylinders are created equal; some are built to handle more weight than others. Being mindful of each stretcher’s weight capacity can help prolong the life of these cylinders, but if you notice that the pedals or levers that control these cylinders have become difficult to maneuver or that your stretcher is squeaking or making loud noises while someone is operating the cylinders, it’s time to have your stretcher serviced by a professional.

4. Side Rails

The side rails on a stretcher are crucial for keeping your patients safe. Without them, your patients could fall right off! Since a stretcher’s side rails are so integral to the safety of the patients you’re transporting, It’s important to keep an eye out for some of their most common malfunctions. If you notice that the rails are no longer locking into place properly or that they fall out of their locked position, they should be looked at by a medical equipment repair professional.

Stretchers are critical pieces of equipment that are used every day in surgery centers, hospitals, and other important medical facilities. Naturally, the components of a piece of equipment that is so regularly used will wear out or malfunction over time. It is in the best interest of your staff and your patients to properly inspect and maintain your stretchers regularly.

Omnicor Biomedical Services has developed a comprehensive program of service contract options designed to keep your stretchers and other crucial medical equipment operating at peak performance while simultaneously eliminating sudden and unexpected repair costs. For more information about our service contracts or to schedule a consultation, get in touch by calling 315.320.4244 or writing to us in complete confidence through our website’s secure contact page.

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