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Gimbal mounted ambulance stretcher

Stable ambulance bed mount
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If you've ever been injured and transported by ambulance, every time it slows, speeds up, or turns a corner, you know that your body becomes the shock absorber for rotational and compression inertia.

Certainly a stretcher is secured within the transport and you’re strapped/taped to the bed but nothing is done to ensure you remain somewhat level and not subjected to an attempted dump out of the bed, or any other inertial forces.

What's needed is to mount the stretcher inside the ambulance on double gimbal mount, such that when the ambulance stops or starts then the bed rotates in that same direction to keep you centered in the centrifugal direction. Likewise it will roll side to side such that you remain without much stress, centered in the centrifugal force.

This could help minimize additional injury, especially if you have spinal fractures. An ambulance stopping without this kind of device could exacerbate the injury easily, and not the least is the additional pain being experienced.

doctorbill, Jan 11 2011


       This is defintely Baked, in the UK, in the 1980's. We will try to find a link.   

       The technology was effective, but expensive. in the end, it was considered more cost-effective to allow accident vicitms to suffer.
8th of 7, Jan 11 2011

       You'll need lots of room for the stretcher to move, room for the gimbals to hold it and some form of sensors and control.
baconbrain, Jan 12 2011

       shouldn't need more than about 2 feet clearance for fore/aft direction and probably 1 foot for side/side. Controls might be as simple as an increasiing resistance when reaching end of travel.   

       With respect to cost, what's a hundred or so more dollars? The insurance is covering most anyway, and if indigent who cares. But if the result of moving forward and compressing spinal damage more, then the costs are really astronomical for your remaining vegative life.
doctorbill, Jan 12 2011

       A stretcher/gurney that swings around may be more comfortable for the patient but would make life difficut for the EMT/Trauma medic.   

       What's needed is for an entire "pod" to be gimbal mounted and actively stabilised as the vehicle moves, keeping everything smooth and level so the patient is less traumatised, the medics can work easily on a stationary subject, and the vehicle may even be able to travel faster.
8th of 7, Jan 12 2011

       // actively stabilised /   

       There is a key phrase.   

       If a gimballed bed is in mounted in a vehicle, you need something to make it lean and pivot--I suspect that hat been forgotten here--such as a counterweight underneath, or by suspending the entire bed from the roof like a hammock. Whatever weight is used, something needs to damp and control the swinging, and more room will be needed for the bed and the weight to move.   

       Better would be a bed that is mounted within a gimbal, *and* that has motors to tilt it, sensors to know when to tilt it, and--here is another important item--a predictive system to get it tilting before forces build up.   

       Seriously, a patient in a bed suspended from the roof of the ambulance would be very dangerous and very sea-sick.
baconbrain, Jan 12 2011

       if you've ever used/seen a gimbaled drink holder on a boat, the weight/counterweight is the drink content itself. It's passively stabilized by its own mass and centrifugal force, as long as the mass center of gravity is below the pivot points. No motors or sensors should be needed to have the passive weight in a bed to do similarly. I've never spilled a drop of libation when being held this way. The only issue would be a limited amount of rotation could be allowed and it could again be dampened by shock absorber cushions at the end of possible travel. 180 degrees of movement aren't needed, about 15 degrees should be more then adequate unless you've have an indy 500 driver operating the vehicle on his first day as an ambulance driver.
doctorbill, Jan 12 2011

       This sounds like an opportunity to second towtrucks (the kind with the crane at the back) as ambulances.
FlyingToaster, Jan 12 2011

       [doctorbill], I point out that a boat is largely pitching and rolling--your drink's inertia tends to keep it oriented the way it was. An ambulance is largely starting, stopping and going around corners--a patient's inertia is trying to slam them through the side of the vehicle.   

       I want an electromechanical system that actively rolls the stretcher into the lean needed for a turn, not depending on inertia. That's all, an active control system. It'd be more compact, not that expensive and better for the patient.   

       We now have the technlogy to do active controls, and should, as the idea suggests. Gimbals and weights have been around for years, and haven't worked for ambulance beds.   

       [Later]: Go ask the folks who make high-end driving simulators, the ones where you sit it a box and it tilts and gimbals and moves about, and ask them to help with the controls. Essentially they'd turn their program backwards and try to fool you into thinking you were sitting still.
baconbrain, Jan 12 2011

       As an investment, this is wrong. A person in an ambulance is, more or less by definition, already at a statistical disadvantage in terms of life expectancy. If a finite amount of money is to be spend, makes far more sense to invest it in healthy people.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 15 2011

       //As an investment, this is wrong// True. As an investment, the money would be best spent on slaves, indentured servants, and farm animals, who might conceivably yield a return.
mouseposture, Jan 15 2011

       Yes, obviously. But you can only use so many.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 15 2011

       Well, and that leaves a little left over for Granny's dialysis.
mouseposture, Jan 15 2011

       I see only one upside to what appears to be a perfectly gruesome method supposed to lessen the impact of the ambulance trip on the patient. Forget about all that. It's a cost-saving strategy. As described you'd be saving a ton of hospital costs by jellifying the patient so that by the time you got to the emergency room you wouldn't need any medical attention at all. You'd be pulverized and tenderized and ready to be poured into a funerary bucket. Better yet, make the gimbal stretcher a bag with a bottom spout and just dispense the patient directly into the Coroner's office via chute.
minoradjustments, Sep 09 2023


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