Ambulance Cot

Everything there is to know about ambulance cot

 Ambulance cots belong to a group of medical equipment. Their functionality is to carry and transport a person in an ambulance. Their design has a small structure but is enough to easily carry a person and be compatible with the inside arrangement of the ambulance. Ambulance cots stay inside the ambulances to be used when dealing with an injured person in a calamity stricken area or other situations. They were created for the comfortable and secure transportation of patients who are bedridden, extremely debilitated, or are unable to walk. The ambulance cot helps to eliminate the risk of unnecessary and jerky movements that might cause further damage to a patient. It can be carried with the help of paramedic staff or pushed using the wheels.

They are made of resistant, durable aluminum metal, have a rectangular shape, and are incredibly lightweight. They may be padded or non-padded. Although lightweight, they can bear considerable weight. They also come equipped with side handles for trouble-free handling of the stretcher. An ambulance cot is adjustable and can be set according to the person's height, making it secure to transfer patients from any location to the cot and from cot to the hospital bed. Straps securely tighten patients in place. The wheels can move in any direction because of their ability to rotate 180 degrees. The degree of portability of the wheels helps their use in locations that are unreachable such as between tight streets, in the elevator, patient bedsides, small rooms, destroyed buildings, or under tunnels.


History of ambulance cots


There is not much detailed history available related to their development. The earliest forms of ambulance cots that existed were made from the wicker technique using different plant materials. In the middle of the twentieth century, the simplest types of stretchers became available among military personnel. They were known as gurneys. This term, which was used for the wheeled stretcher, was ambiguous and thought to originate from the slang of the Pacific Coast. The Gurney was first used for clinical purposes in the 1930s.

The initial designs were not durable and robust because of the scarce availability materials. It was difficult to lift heavyweight people up and down the stairs. Stretchers made of wood and heavy material with transformation now turned into a compact, mobile, and light-weighted structure. They are easy to handle and store and are foldable. 

Initially, stretchers demanded much sustenance. The companies that sold the stretchers had qualified department workers to do repairs and servicing. Breakdown of stretcher parts was so common that it demanded intense care of the equipment.

In the past ten years, there have been made significant changes in its construction. The carbon-based polymers use strengthened the gurneys. The introduction of large wheels improved stability and ease of use while moving on uneven grounds. Hence, some modifications in the mechanisms helped increase stability, efficiency, and reliability.


Indications of using ambulance cot 


A medical stretcher is an apparatus useful in moving persons who require medical attention to the hospital. They are typically in acute emergency medical conditions and require urgent care, which, if not provided, may lead to fatalities.

It can be useful in lifting patients from the 

  • Open fields
  • Stadiums
  • Military practice sites 
  • Road accident sites
  • Flooded areas
  • Collapsed buildings 
  • Areas involving electric shock hazards 
  • Earthquake sites
  • Construction site accidents 
  • Fire hazard


Complications of using an ambulance cot


Complications generally arise because of mishandling or improper care of the equipment. We will discuss some of the possible complications below.

The cot might collapse due to the improper functioning of the handle and drop down to the ground position abruptly. This can lead to a severe problem if already loaded with the patient.

If the parts are loose, cracked, or malfunctioning, it can cause the equipment's failure while working with it. A sudden fracture in stretcher legs may result in a dangerous consequence.

Improper handling or loss of proper training might cause a person to fall from the horizontal surface.

Sometimes stretcher tips over any object on the ground and causes it to collapse suddenly.

If the location from where to pick up the person is very hazardous and paramedic staff is also not well trained, it can cause injuries to the rescuer staff itself like back strain, and struck injured foot.

Sometimes, it happens that straps fastened might get loose and open up. In such a case, the patient might fall off of the ambulance cot.


How to use it

Emergency medical service (EMS) personnel use the ambulance cot for the safe transfer of patients to the ambulance because it is a standard way of transferring the patient. The process of lifting and transferring the patient should be in the following steps.

  • Before starting, always check the wheels and brakes to ensure the safety of the patient. Also, look for any loose screws and bolts that might be a health hazard.
  • Although designed to bear maximum weight, try to estimate the patient's weight, and then choose the stretcher that best fits to bear the weight of that person.
  • Lower the stretcher's height to the respective height of place from where you have to lift the patient. You can do this with the help of a handle usually provided under the mattress. Always try to find an even base for the stretcher, which ensures a continuous and smooth flow.
  • After loading the patient on the stretcher, raise the stretcher with the handle to your desired height. The height should be enough to push the stretcher easily without any strain on the back. 
  • You may need to pull up the stretcher head for some patients. Secure the patient tightly with the straps.
  • Push the medical stretcher, following all the guidelines, without any abrupt or jerky movement, and shift the patient into the ambulance. Always hold the handles until the cot has reached the ambulance and safely placed inside. Follow the same rule while shifting the person to the bed.
  • After placement in the ambulance bus, ensure that it is locked in its place and will not cause any movements until reaching the hospital.
  • After reaching the hospital, safely transport the patient to the bed with the same guidelines as stated above.


General Specifications


There are several designs on the market, with different specifications; however, we will cite the general specifications. The desirable features in any medical gurneys, as provided by Ferno, are the medical stretchers with balanced, durable, portable, swift, high lifting capacity, bariatric technology, long term battery, and robust fastening system. 

Other important features to look into it are:

  • Integrated Charging System 
  • Back up mode in case of powered ones
  • Faster legs retraction and extension.
  • Lightweight and flexible 
  • Compliant with safety standards.
  • Hydraulic foot controls
  • Adjustable height
  • Hydraulic or pneumatic backrest (0 -75 degrees)
  • A comfortable waterproof mattress 
  • Built-in Side handles
  • Aluminum design
  • Large surface area
  • Multiple locking positions 
  • Aluminum alloy frame
  • Easy to clean
  • Provided with an IV stand 

Height: 400mm -880 mm

Width: 550mm-900 mm 

Length: 1930 mm 

Weight capacity 500 lbs. or more


Market leaders

Here we are, listing the top manufacturers providing the best-wheeled cots for emergency use:

Ferno is the leading brand in manufacturing ambulance cot. Their medical stretchers range from manual to powered ones. Ferno came up with the innovative technology that can be trusted by the consumers and performs a variety of functions. Their products are the most durable with robust frames, whirling wheels, and enough padding for the patients. Ferno tried to fulfill every EMS related medical cot needs by building in that feature. 

Their upgraded versions include POWER X1 Ambulance Cot, 35X-NM PROFlexx Cot, and revolutionary iNX. They claim the revolutionary iNX to be a complete patient transport and loading system.

Stryker is another leading brand among ambulance cot manufacturers. The company provides innovative equipment, ensuring a more secure and problem-free lifestyle. They always fulfill their customer's demand by providing all the necessary specs of medical cots. The best choices include Stryker power-PRO XT cot, Stryker MX-PRO R3 ambulance cot, and Stryker 6083 MX-pro bariatric transport cot.



The availability of the ambulance cot is essential to the hospital and emergency medical service providers as, without them, no organization can execute the process of securing patients. It is not an easygoing process to bring a person safe and alive to the hospital without any protective and augmenting apparatus. A wide range is present in the market. Ferno is among the top brands, and their competitors still do not reach up to their standards. Proper training is very crucial for their efficient usage and the prevention of any complications. With modern technology, more equipped and safe medical cots are on the way.

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