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New Technology Makes Lifting Patients Easier For Paramedics

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Paramedics lifting a man using the usual technique. Paramedics lifting a man using the usual technique.
Paramedics taking a person up stairs using the new HoverMatt. Paramedics taking a person up stairs using the new HoverMatt.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

EMSA has introduced new technology to Oklahoma that will make lifting patients a breeze.

It's called the HoverMatt, and makes moving patients safer for everyone involved.

The way paramedics currently lift patients can be effective, but it can also be awkward. It may sometimes put the injured patient or medic at risk.

"We can't forget about the patient," said Chris Stevens, of EMSA. "That's our number one priority. But you don't want to have the rescuer go down in an injury."

EMSA said paramedics often suffer from lower back injuries from lifting heavier people.

But new technology being introduced to Oklahoma should help make moving anyone a breeze.

With the HoverMatt, medics will carefully roll patients onto the mat and use the air supply to float the mattress and the patient onto the HoverDeck.

"I like to think of it like an upside down air hockey table. It shoves air through these little tiny pin holes in the bottom," Stevens said.

The HoverMatt helps medics glide patients across the floor, up or down stairs, and through doorways by shooting air from the bottom of the mat which helps support the weight.

The equipment will be kept in the bariatric unit, and can hold up to 1,200 pounds—something that would have taken quite a few medics to accomplish.

Michael Ginn, EMSA Field Operation Supervisor said, "On a normal day, you're looking at five-to-six people lifting 700 pounds, to get them into the back of the ambulance."

EMSA said they had to find a way to safely and effectively care for larger patients, but also to protect the elderly from skin tears.

"This will stop that. We don't have to lift them, at all. The air will do everything," Ginn said.

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