After interviewing an EMT about his experiences in transporting obese patients from their homes to the hospital, we realized that one of the biggest risks in moving these patients was the actual movement of the patient out of the bed into the stretcher. The EMT described this process as dangerous for both the patient and the EMTs since it is difficult to estimate number of EMTs needed to carry the patient or how to lift the patient up from the bed onto the stretcher without knowing the patient’s weight. In order to minimize potential injury to patient and the EMTs, we have come up with a bed that has a stretcher with legs attached to the bottom which can easily be removed from the bed. EMT will simply have to slide the patient onto the stretcher instead of having to lift and then the EMT will be able to use the legs of the stretcher to support the patient up. Built-in handles to the stretcher will provide means for the EMTs to have something to hold onto when using the stretcher. The bed has an unique weighing capability which can assist EMT to determine number of EMTs required. This will reduce the rate of injury for EMTs and will help speed up the time it takes for a patient to get to the emergency room.
Our next steps is to build a prototype that can hold weight up to 800 pounds and test it with patients in a non-emergency setting. Once we have a better understanding of how both EMTs and patients can use the bed, we will place a bed in a patient’s house over a period of time to make sure the patient is comfortable. Then, we will roll out this bed for hospitals and nursing homes. This bed can be sold both to businesses and consumers; however, in order to get the consumer base, we will first start with hospitals and doctors.