The Med Sled evacuation device: a skeptic’s review
In the wake of recent disasters like Hurricane Sandy and the Joplin tornadoes, institutions across the country are reviewing their disaster preparedness plans. Of significant importance is a plan to evacuate multiple floors of non-ambulatory patients.
Thanks to some serious investigating and planning on the part of AAMC and our emergency management team, lead by Patty Sherman, MSN, RN, we have purchased our first installment of evacuation devices: the adult Med Sled and infant carrier/sled.
As the safety officer for ESP, I was able to observe this equipment in use. At first, I was skeptical these sleds would really do the trick, so I volunteered to be an evacuee and try the Med Sled device in the stairwell of the Belcher Pavilion.
Surprisingly, the device was very easy to deploy — similar to unrolling a sleeping bag. After the team flattened the flexible sled, slid it under me, and adjusted the straps, I was feeling rather safe and ready to be evacuated.
Slowly and gently, I was lowered down the stairs. As I neared the landing, the head of the sled folded to secure my head as we turned the corner to the next stairwell. All in all, it took 45 seconds to move me from one floor to the next. That’s impressive!
- it’s easy to use and deploy
- there is no need to lift the patient before use
- the sled allows staff to move 2-3 times their own weight easily
- a stairwell braking system aids evacuation
- the sled accommodates medical equipment essential for patient transport.
AAMC will soon be receiving its first installment of the Med Sleds, which will be placed on the 6th floor, where our most vulnerable adults are. The NICU will also be receiving infant inserts. As more grant funding becomes available, the hospital will be purchasing more sleds.
Keep a look out for the new Med Sleds! Training information coming soon. -Natalie MacIntire, RN