How to Use a Stair Chair

An emergency is the last place you want to realize you don’t have the proper piece of equipment. When having to evacuate a multilevel facility a stair chair can be the difference between life and death for an immobilized patient. Stair chairs allow for the safe evacuation of patients through stairways when elevators and lifts are not a safe method of transport. Transporting a patient down a stairway presents a unique challenge and stair chairs are the safest piece of equipment with which to accomplish this.

According to Stryker EMS, one of the leading manufacturers of emergency medical equipment in the world, 1 in 4 EMS workers suffer a career-ending back injury within the first four years of employment. Using the proper equipment in its recommended capacity is important for the safety of not only the patient but the operator as well.

What is a stair chair?

A stair chair is an ambulance stretcher that folds into a chair position rather than a flat bed position. It is used to transport patients in a seated position through narrow halls or up and down stairs. Stair chairs are used not only in multilevel buildings, but also airplanes, businesses, schools, and any location that could require an emergency evacuation in a confined space.

How to use a stair chair

Using a stair chair properly is important for both patient and caregiver. Following a few simple key steps, as recommended by Stryker, will help ensure a safe transport.

  1. Transfer and secure the patient onto the chair:
    Apply the wheel locks to prevent the chair from moving. Transfer the patient using appropriate techniques then secure them  in place with the patient restraints. Disengage wheel locks once the patient is securely fastened to the chair.
  2. Align the chair to the edge of stairs:
    Position the chair at the base or edge of the stairs in a flat position. Certain stair chairs will include treads that assist in moving the chair. Align these treads with the edge of the stair. Once both operators are in position, facing each other, you can tilt the chair and begin moving it up or down. 
  3. Angle the chair back and move up or down:
    Both operators must simultaneously lift the chair using the head and foot end lift handles. Always following proper lifting techniques. Glide the chair down the stairs until the treads are level across the edges of two or three steps. Maintain the angle and guide the chair over the edge of the stair. Always refer to your specific chair’s operation instructions as this will indicate how many operators are required and what the maximum patient weight limit is.
  4. Secure chair and unload patient:
    Once you arrive on a flat landing and need to unload your patient, ensure the locks are in place before removing patient restraints.

Stryker Evacuation Chairs

Stryker EMS equipment is designed to make the lives of EMS teams easier while providing the best patient care. “Developing best-in-class solutions that address critical issues affecting caregivers and patients.”

MFI Medical carries this line of Stryker Evacuation Chairs, with certain models available in factory new configurations as well! The Stryker Evacuation Chair Model 6253 is a customer favorite for the affordability and ruggedness Stryker has become famous for. Featuring a lightweight frame, only 34 lb, the model 6253 can accommodate patients up to 200 lb with one operator and 500 lb with two operators.

Stryker Model 6254 Evacuation Chair

The Stryker Model 6254 Evacuation Chair features Stryker’s patented Stair-TREAD system. The Stair-TREAD system allows for an easy descent down stairs by a single operator, with passengers weighing up to 200 pounds. Extendable head and foot end lift handle design supports proper ergonomic lifting technique.

Unsure of which stair chair is right for your needs and budget? MFI Medical has a dedicated team of experts that can assist you in finding all of your emergency medical services needs. Contact your account manager today for all of your stair-chair questions. And be sure to check out our specials page to save on your next stair chair.


*Note: Due to the nature of manufacturer and supplier restrictions, the availability of these products may change. Our team will work closely with you to ensure we find the right medical equipment for your specific needs.

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