Health Team

Med Sled assists with hospital evacuations

Posted December 16, 2009 5:40 p.m. EST
Updated December 16, 2009 6:16 p.m. EST

— Two years ago, WakeMed Hospital held evacuation drills and tested the response for moving patients to safer ground.

With elevators out of commission, they found hospital beds wouldn't fit down stairwells. They found an answer to that problem with the Med Sled.

Ten Med Sleds are rolled up like sleeping bags and placed in cases around the hospital.

”When you figure that patients have their own weight, plus any equipment that we may need to move with them, they can become heavy pretty quickly,” said Dale Hill, of WakeMed Emergency Services.

The Med Sled is designed like a mountain rescue device. It requires less muscle than a specialized chair or a stiff back board.

Emergencies that require hospital evacuations are rare, but they do happen.

In May, a hospital in Denver was evacuated when chlorine and hydrochloric acid were accidentally mixed at a pool on the property and fumes spread to buildings that were connected.