Case Study: EMS injuries fall to zero after implementing Stryker Stair-PRO Stair Chairs
Based on the performance of Stair-PRO, Charleston County replaced 25 existing ambulance cots with new Stryker Power-PRO powered ambulance cots in 2006
In 2002, 36 percent of all injuries suffered by Charleston County employees were strain-related injuries. The county’s Emergency Medical Service Department (EMS) suffered the greatest. County and EMS leadership decided to do something about it.
Charleston County developed a strain injury reduction campaign in July 2003. One of the first products researched and implemented was the Stryker Stair-PRO stair chair. Once acquired, the benefits of Stair-PRO were remarkable and immediate. “Since the implementation of the stair chairs and training on their use in October 2004, not one Charleston County paramedic or EMT has been injured while using Stryker stair chairs”, according to Larry Hodge, Safety and Risk Management Director for Charleston County. Prior to implementation of the Stryker stair chair, EMS was suffering on average three serious injuries per year while transporting patients down flights of stairs.
“The impact of even one job-related injury can be profound”, stated EMS Director Don Lundy. “We have excellent medics whose careers are ended due to severe injuries. One individual will be out for as much as 10 years; another could be as long as 20. The impact on their lives is something that we cannot overlook”, he continued.
According to Hodge, “The success of Charleston County’s efforts has been tremendous.” Strain-related injuries throughout the county are down over 50 percent. The number of lost days due to strain injuries has fallen 84 percent. Both of these factors have benefited the well-being of the county’s EMS employees.