Flightmed archive for September-2001
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Flightmed archive for September-2001

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Re: Incubators for ground transports

We used hydraulic trolleys for many years and faced many reliability issues.
Three years' ago we switched to electric trolleys. A linear actuator is used to raise and lower the whole transport system to the desired height for loading/unloading. There is no vertical lifting. After some teething problems, these electric devices work really well and have easily replaceable batteries and a charger in the ambulance for the spare.
Like most programs which cater for neonates, we are regularly asked when our transport systems will be lighter!  We have seen ours go from 145kg to 113kg. New models are anticipated to be around 100kg. We are therefore dealing with weights around the same as many adults. In short, these systems will always be 'mobile' rather than 'portable' and manual handling tools are required for handling neonatal transport systems just as much as they are required for increasingly heavy adults.
Do you see your suitcase being lifted when you take a trip by plane? Not after you lift it on to the scales at check-in! The airlines and airports have this problem sorted. Why is it so hard for the air medical / interfacility ground transport industry?

Dr Andrew Berry ABerry@nets.org.au
State Director
NSW Emergency Transport Service 

Hotline    1300 36 2500   +615 0055 NETS
Office      05 005 24453   +615 005 CHILD
Facsimile 05 008 24453   +615 008 CHILD
Direct      05 005 23779   +615 005 BERRY

>>> sharono_55@yahoo.com 31/08/2001 12:43:27 >>>
 My Nurse Manager asked me to check with other programs that do ground
transport of neonates in incubators.  We have been using the Airshields
incubator set up that is on its' own wheels and have had hydraulic
lifts on the back of the ambulances that pull out to load.  One of our
rigs has recently been having a lot of trouble with the lift, and the
folks who furnish our drivers have been trying to say that this is a
bad setup anyway and we should go with incubators on ambulance cots, so
if there is a breakdown any service could give us a lift.  The question
we have is of anyone who has used both types of setups, which worked
best or did you prefer?  Pros and cons from anyone with experience?  My
concerns are would we be risking increased back injuries and or cot
wheels failure to lock?  These incubator systems can be very heavy when
they are fully loaded with monitors, vent, O2 and air tanks, etc.  The
other thing I'm not completely sure of, are the locking mechanisms in
ambulances compatible with all cots-if we did require roadside
assistance from another local service?
Thanks for any input you can give us on this.
Sharon Olson,RN,CCRN
Neo/Peds Transport
University of Iowa Health Care
Iowa City, Iowa

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