An evac chair is a specially designed stretcher that is in the upright position so that a person is seated instead of lying flat. These chairs are designed to help remove disabled or injured people on an emergency basis. They are narrower than a wheelchair and less bulky. These specialized devices are perfect for buildings with stairs where evacuation may be necessary at some point. The chairs are lightweight and can negotiate stairs in a safe manner, keeping the occupant secure while they are moved to safety.
A variety of evac chairs are available, and the one that you ultimately choose will have much to do with the needs of a particular client. The standard evac chair is generally available in two styles, one with four wheels that are permanently deployed and one style that has two permanent wheels in the rear with two stoppers in the front. The seat that holds the patient is manufactured with vinyl which makes it easy to keep clean.
When a patient is seated they are secured with a lap harness and can rest their feet on a foot rest. The adjustable head rest can be moved to suit any patient. There are brakes on the back wheels which hold the evac chair in place while the patient is being loaded into the chair. Most evac chairs can hold up to 330 lbs (150 kg). You can store an evac chair where it will be needed, on a second or third floor near the patient. The chair can be mounted on the wall with a special bracket and then covered with a special fitted cover.
Some evac chairs look more like a stretcher but still have the patient seated while being moved. The chair is slightly reclined and is designed to navigate stairs while carrying a person who has no mobility in a safe and efficient manner. The patient is strapped into the device and then moved down the most treacherous stairs with ease. If this same transport was attempted with a stretcher, it could prove to be very dangerous to the person in the stretcher and to the people attempting to move the stretcher over challenging terrain.
Basic evac chairs are designed for patients or people who are incapacitated but still functioning normally. There are also chairs available that can accommodate an IV, carry an oxygen tank or other devices that must be taken with a patient if they need to be moved in a hurry. The price range can vary for these chairs, so it is best to consider what the needs are of the person who will be using the chair and then purchase the right unit to suit that person. Restraints attached to the chair hold the patient’s ankles, arms and body in place while they are moved down stairs. It is important to make a person feel secure during emergency moves or they may struggle and move around too much. This can throw people off balance and lead to accidents. Evac chairs are designed to avoid all of these situations and make fast and efficient transport of incapacitated patients that much easier.
For more information about evac chairs head over to http://www.evacuationchairs.org/
(Photo Credit: keith.bailey92 / Creative Commons)