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As with most other things, the everyday stretcher has gotten a serious high-tech makeover. What was once a simple piece of equipment, now has all the high-tech bells and whistles. However, these higher-tech models come with a higher price tag. The average cost of a stretcher has jumped up 20% since last year. As more and more hospitals and medical transports opt for more of the complex features on stretchers, such as motorized drives and compatibility with x-ray machines, the cost is only expected to continue to grow throughout the future.
This rapid rise in the cost of stretchers has many experts wondering if these new innovations are worth the hefty price tag. The current price tag of a stretcher is $5900, compared to only $4900 last year. The cost of a typical stretcher can post anywhere from $2500 to $7000. Motorized stretchers that can help users transport bariatric patients and reduce the risk of back injuries typically cost around $10,000. If you opt for an x-ray compatible stretcher, which will ensure that you do not have to transfer the patient from the stretcher to another surface for an x-ray, these will cost you at least $6000.
The massive interest in these two types of stretchers has only helped to drive the cost up. Most experts also emphasize the fact that there is a rising population of morbidly obese patients that has led many medical facilities to purchase these costlier stretchers to make it easier to transport these types of patients. They believe that these models provide an extra layer of safety and ease that is, in the end, extremely valuable to both their staff and their patients. And, they are willing to pay these inflated costs to ensure that their staff and patients can feel that sense of ease when in their care.
There are many features a stretcher can have that will help raise the price of the stretcher. Newer models can feature an alarm system that will alert caregivers to prevent their patient from falling. This alarm not only saves the patient from a fall but can be extremely helpful in preventing caregiver back injuries simply by not having to lift any fallen patients. Another high-cost stretcher is one that features a fifth wheel. The fifth wheel can help you navigate the stretcher throughout hospital hallways and corners. These models of stretchers, just as any other high-tech stretcher, will come with a higher price tag. When ordering a stretcher, you will need to ask yourself if all of the bells and whistles are worth it in the long run. Remember, as with any medical facility, what works for one place does not work for everyone. It is up to you to decide which model and which features will work best for you and your patients.