Power-LOAD™ brings extra muscle for paramedics

by Hennepin Healthcare

Hennepin EMS is employing new technology from Stryker Corporation to reduce the risk of injuries to their patients, paramedics and EMTs. The Power-LOAD™ system is a revolutionary method for managing the stretcher during loading and unloading, while increasing security during transport.

The Power-LOAD system allows for loading and unloading without additional lifting by personnel, and the cot must by actively released by the provider; reducing the chance of a “dropped” stretcher. During transport, the rail system secures the stretcher in 4 places and provides a secure mount in up to 20 Gs of force forward or rearward, and up to 10 Gs laterally. (To view a demonstration of the Power-LOAD system, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aov_QI8H5SU_)  

Paramedics and EMTs face risk of injuries every time they lift a stretcher into or out of an ambulance. A stretcher that is loaded or unloaded in uneven terrain—not hard to imagine in an emergency—can fall to the ground, injuring the patient and provider. Finally, stretchers and their patients can easily become dangerous projectiles in the event of a motor vehicle crash. Dr. Brian Mahoney, an Emergency Medicine physician with HCMC and Medical Director for Hennepin EMS says that properly used, the Power-LOAD system, helps “prove our commitment to the safety of our colleagues, the patient and the public.”

The Stryker Power-LOAD™ system was approved by the FDA and made ready for distribution for June 2012. Hennepin EMS is the first large (greater than 15 ambulances) service to deploy this system worldwide. Installation began with the arrival of new ambulances in the fall of 2012. All remaining ambulances are being retrofitted with the devices.

Stryker Corporation is one of the world’s leading medical technology companies and is dedicated to helping healthcare professionals perform their jobs more efficiently while enhancing patient care. For more information about Stryker, please visit www.stryker.com.

Hennepin EMS is a department of Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Hennepin EMS provides emergency medical services to a population of over 700,000 people within the city of Minneapolis and 13 surrounding communities and responds to over 60,000 calls for service per year. For more information on Hennepin EMS, please visit www.hennepinems.org.

Stryker Power-Load lifts into ambulance with ease.

Stryker Power-Load lifts into ambulance with ease.

Additional resources
A crash test video using a standard stretcher. Even with shoulder belts, the patient escapes restraint…this would likely result in life-threatening or fatal injuries to both paramedic and patient: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2iNQWCI18M

Crash test video from the side. You can see that the stretcher with standard mount breaks away from the mounting system–patient and stretcher become projectile in the ambulance. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adkJk94X-BY

A video showing Dallas Star (former MN North Star) Mike Modano, injured and dropped while loading into ambulance…something the demo points out as prevented by using the Power-Load system: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmfMQ8wx5k0

A crash test video using a Stryker Power-Load system:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Unzr4FYYS3k