How to Choose a Hospital Stretcher

Transporting patients in a hospital safely and effectively relies heavily on the equipment you choose. Stretchers (also known as gurneys or trolleys) are a crucial piece of equipment in any healthcare facility that requires them; they transport patients to and from procedures or where the procedure occurs. MFI Medical carries various stretchers, from brands such as Stryker and Hill-Rom, in different conditions and with multiple features to best fit your budget.

When shopping for a stretcher, there are many factors we at MFI Medical get asked about. Here are the four major factors we recommend you consider when shopping for a hospital stretcher.

What to look for when shopping for a hospital stretcher

1. Features for medical specialty or procedure

While a stretcher may seem like a pretty ordinary piece of equipment, depending on the patient's need, you will need a stretcher specially designed to provide adequate care. There are stretchers intended just for transport and others designed for procedures. You will want to look for features such as:

  • Positioning - lateral like a bed, chair position, or both.
  • Specialty sections such as articulating headpieces or foot sections.
  • Adjustable height range.
  • Degree of Trendelenburg.
  • Knee gatch.

2. Features for caregivers

When shopping for a stretcher, consider caregiver safety as well as patient comfort. Caregivers are susceptible to injury when transporting and maneuvering patients. Many stretcher features are designed to aid the person providing the medical care, such as powered stretchers compared to hydraulic, retractable fifth wheel for easier steering, and push handles that reduce the use of force. Pay attention to the size and amount of casters, as this will help with your turning radius, as well as the number and location of brakes.

Stryker Big Wheel and brakes. Stryker Big WheeI is designed to reduce push force by 50% and steering effort by 60%. 

3. Patient capacity

Another thing you will want to consider when shopping for a hospital stretcher is the patient capacity; this includes the mattress's patient surface dimensions and the weight capacity. Stretchers are available in different patient widths and mattress types to accommodate all patients. Patient capacity should also be a concern if you work with a particular patient type, such as bariatric or pediatric.

4. Accessories for hospital stretchers

Here are a few accessories to consider when shopping for a hospital stretcher:

  • IV Pole: Integrated IV pole to assist with infusions while transporting the patient.
  • Oxygen cylinder holder: Storage compartment or attachment that supports oxygen cylinders.
  • Side rails: Side rails are available in fold down or glide down. You should consider patient transfer and the space of where the stretcher will be used.
  • Push Handles: Confirm that the model of stretcher you are purchasing has the option or includes push handles. Push handles not only help the caregiver maneuver the bed, but they can also significantly reduce strain and chance of injury.
hospital stretcher accessories o2 bottle holder Stryker
Integrated oxygen bottle holder pictured on a Stryker hospital stretcher.

Stretchers Carried by MFI Medical 

MFI Medical carries hospital stretchers by major brands such as Stryker, Hill-Rom, Hausted, and more. Each hospital stretcher sold by MFI Medical includes a warranty and is backed by the MFI Certified Guarantee. With this guarantee, you can shop confidently, knowing you have the support of one of the world's leading refurbished medical equipment suppliers. If you have any questions about which stretcher is suitable for you, contact your account manager for more information.