Gurney

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A gurney, known as a trolley in British medical context, is the U.S. term for a type of stretcher used in modern hospitals and ambulances in developed areas. A hospital gurney is a kind of narrow bed on a wheeled frame which may be adjustable in height. For ambulances, a collapsible gurney is a type of stretcher on a variable-height wheeled frame. Normally, an integral lug on the gurney locks into a sprung latch within the ambulance in order to prevent movement during transport. It is usually covered with a disposable sheet and cleaned after each patient in order to prevent the spread of infection. Its key value is to facilitate moving the patient and sheet onto a fixed bed or table on arrival at the emergency room. Both types may have straps to secure the patient.

Standard gurneys have several adjustments. The bed can be raised or lowered to facilitate patient transfer. The head of the gurney can be raised so that the patient is in a sitting position (especially important for those in respiratory distress) or lowered flat in order to perform CPR, or for patients with suspected spinal injury who must be transported on a long spine board. The feet can be raised to what is called the trendelenberg position, indicated for patients in shock.

A fairly recent innovation is the addition of battery-powered hydraulics to raise and collapse the legs automatically. This eases the workload on EMS personnel, who are statistically at high risk of back injury from repetitive raising and...
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