March 30, 2014

Medical Transport Procedure For Patients Confined to a Wheelchair - Going Down a Staircase

By Bryntly Bethea

When you find yourself needing to transport a wheelchair bound patient down a flight of stairs to your medical transportation service vehicle and do not have a stretcher or stair chair on hand then you will need to improvise.

The first thing that must be accomplished is to secure your wheelchair bound patient to their wheelchair with a stretcher strap or even a seat belt from your medical transport unit.
When securing your patient for medical transport down the stairs be sure they are sitting upright and that the straps are tight. Patients will tend to try to grab the railing on the stairs so have your patient cross their arms. You may nave to also strap in the arms in the case of a combative patient or a stroke patient.

Lean your patient backwards in the wheelchair and have your EMT spotter in front of the patient. Slowly go down the stairs with your patient facing forward and leaning backwards.

The medic in the spotting position should both stabilize the wheelchair from the front and slow down the forward motion of the wheelchair.

The EMT in the back should hold on to the handles on the wheelchair with his knees bent and shoulders over his or her bottom. take one stair at a time and before long you will be loading your patient into the medical transport unit.

This procedure is dangerous and should only be performed by professionals familiar with the procedure.

See for more long distance medical transportation information.

I am an emt working at we have used this procedure many times safely in the field. I have about five years experience with it. I enjoy both learning new procedures and sharing the ones I know with other medical transportation providers.

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