If I had to pick the one single invention that has had the most impact on my professional practice of EMS, it would be the Stryker Power Cot. Sure, there are some awesome changes that have been made to the profession in the years that I’ve been applying bandages to accident victims, but those things like the 12-lead EKG and CPAP don’t affect every patient on every call like the power cot does.
I love it and you can’t take it from me. I won’t let you. If your department doesn’t have one, you should get one. Right now. Don’t wait.
Sure, the other brands of power cots may be just as good or better, but I haven’t used any of them personally and I can’t say anything about them. I suppose that all versions of the power cots are light years ahead of the old manual cots, but I only have experience with the Stryker version and I love every single, solitary bit of it. It’s amazing.
However, today I came into shift and found out something about the Stryker Power Cot that I didn’t know. It’s important enough that I should share it with you.
On yesterday’s shift, one of my coworkers was cleaning and inspecting the undercarriage of the cot and noticed that the hydraulic lines that lead from the hydraulic pump to the lifting arm were becoming damaged by the “Knee gatch” plate on the underside of the cot. Apparently whatever model of cot we have (I don’t know exactly) has an optional feature where we can elevate the knees of the patient for their comfort. I love this feature because it is just incredibly more comfortable for the patients that like it. Unfortunately, the hydraulic hoses have been rubbing on the metal of the knee gatch plate and have worn down somewhat dangerously.
Since all of our cots are the same model and were all purchased at the same time, we checked the others and they have similar damage to the hoses as well.
We informed our Director who has informed Stryker. Apparently this is not a common problem, and may be caused by the optional knee gatch feature that we have installed on the cots.
Here are some pictures:
If you have a Stryker Power Cot, it may be wise to inspect your hydraulic hoses to check for the same problem. We have no idea how long our hoses have been like this, as everyone in our service admits to never having had checked this particular part of the cot. Since it never gives us any problems, it hasn’t been a high priority. However, if you have one of these cots, check the hoses. You may be having the same minor problem with this otherwise exceptional piece of equipment.
Be safe out there.