|It's all fun and games when pushing an old Gurney in a straight line.|
Adding the weight of a patient to the cart resulted in a very high center of gravity that conferred an inherent lack of stability. Vintage Gurneys had no counterweights in their base like the meticulously engineered transport devices present in today's hospital. Tiny wheels, poor brakes and a high center of gravity were the recipe for disaster.
Pushing an old fashioned Gurney in a straight line at low speed was a walk in the park. Speed, uneven terrain, sharp corners or heavy loads were complicating issues and relevant factors in Gurney crashes
Crack ups while rounding corners with a loaded hospital trolley had some of the same elements as motorcycle wrecks. I've had personal experience with both types of mishaps. High side motorcycle and Gurney crashes are among the most catastrophic because the
More benign crashes are of the low side variety where the
Another factor in gurney wrecks is overloading or raising the center of gravity by personnel standing on the cart for procedures like joint reductions.https://regionstraumapro.com/page/3. This graphic illustration of an intrepid emergency medicine physician is a good example of a high flying reduction. Hopefully the good doctor returned safely to terra firma when the procedure was completed.
CPR perfomed on a rapidly moving Gurney always reminded me of a rodeo where a sudden fall is awaiting the rider. The nurse performing compressions (somehow it was always a nurse in the saddle) straddled the patient while maintaining the exquisite balance of a Brahama bull rider as the Gurney surged forward toward more definitive care. Once again the center of mass is raised and the urgency of the situation always manages to exacerbate the propensity for a mishap. The nurse furiously doing chest compressions above the patient was the canary in the coal mine since she was likely to take a tumble before the patient fell. Caution usually prevailed when the Gurney driver sensed the CPR provider was about to take a tumble and slowed everything down befor a crash ensued.
Just like Gundam mech robots patrolling an infinite universe,Gurneys were just about everywhere in the hospital orbit. Gurneys always held a warm spot in my heart because I saw them as a symbol of unification and, oh boy, we could sure use some of that in these difficult times.. We are all going to take that last Gurney ride someday no matter what event terminates our earthly existence. Pay close attention to the next soul you see on a Gurney because they can show us all how to take that final ride with a dignified sense of peace. All bets are off if an OFRN like me crashes the cart.