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Often, one of the most taxing tasks for medical professionals and hospitals is the transportation of obese patients, whether it be from home to ambulance, ambulance to hospital room, or internally within the hospital. The patient’s girth and weight makes it hard for medics to lift and transfer them between surfaces. Because bariatric beds have extra large dimensions, they cannot be moved throughout the hospital. That means this difficult transfer from bed to gurney to bed must take place whenever the patient needs to be moved. Existing bariatric transport devices are not only expensive but also uncomfortable and potentially harmful for the patient, even wrapping them up like a taco and dangling them from ceiling supports in order to physically relocate them from bed to gurney. Thus, as America becomes increasingly obese, hospitals face the expensive call of needing to upgrade to supersized beds and gurneys to accommodate the bigger patients as well as investing in these expensive specialized lifting mechanisms for patient transportation. Shiftable aims to solve these problems by creating a versatile and adaptable mattress that is comfortable, expandable, mobile, secure, and economical.
The controlling principle behind shiftable is an innovative minimization of the effort required to physically move the obese patient when transferring them from location to location. Thus, the patient will experience a one-time transfer onto the comfortable shiftable mattress. In subsequent moves from bed to gurney, transporters will only have to roll the shiftable off of its previous surface to the new one. This mobility is enabled by matrices of ball casters attached to the bottom of the mattress, which can rotate 360 degrees in any direction. These ball casters will allow transporters to move up to 900-pound patients with only the slightest push. Once the mattress slides into place on the new surface, a switch can be pressed, which will turn the metal ball bearings into electromagnets, securing it against metal components of any gurney or bed. A simple off switch will make the shiftable mobile once again. For the bigger patients whose size requires bigger beds, the mattress possesses expandable wings that fold out when needed to custom fit the size of the patient. Lastly, because the mattress is a component that can be easily transferred onto existing hospital beds and gurneys, it is economical for the hospital to implement. Instead of supersizing its entire fleet of equipment, just the shiftable is needed to accommodate the need and transportation of obese patients of any size. Functional, versatile, and economical: the shiftable has the potential to be the next big thing in hospital transport!