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Getting To Hospital

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    Getting To Hospital

    My mom (who has ALS, has no use of her legs, and is wheelchair bound) needs to go the hospital for a CAT scan.

    How would a person in this situation get to the hospital?

    We can get a van to take her in her chair, but the hospital seems "unable" to get her out of the chair and into a bed.

    We called them and they responded like we had three heads! Am I crazy to think there has to be some way?

    They actually said to call an ambulance. That was their solution.

    Hello "YBill,"
    Where do you live?

    Many communities have county/state para transit programs that provide no to low cost wheelchair transportation. Try calling your city or county offices and asking about senior services and/or para transit programs.

    Does your community have wheelchair accessible van taxis?

    You might check your phone book yellow pages for private companies who offer transportation services for people with disabilities who need to go to non emergency medical appointments. These companies offer fee for service wheelchair accessible transportation.

    There may be some service clubs in your area who offer free transportation for seniors and people with disabilities.

    Call your closest independent living center and inquire about transportation options.

    As for transferring your mother from her wheelchair to the CAT scan platform, most hospitals have a department called a "lift team" whose job it is to transfer patients throughout the hospital wards and testing facilities. Many of these teams employ mechanical lifts to safely transfer patients. Other teams use two person teams to lift patients from a wheelchair to testing tables and hospital gurneys.

    ADA regulations require medical facilities to be accessible.

    All the best,


      Absolutely do NOT call an ambulance; insurance will deny coverage of it since its not an emergency (nor needed). Call the hospital and tell them to get a HOYER LIFT, and to find whoever is trained to use to BE THERE when you arrive. I believe that they are legally obligated to be able to transfer patients appropriately. Worst case, does her wheelchair lay back? If so, put a sheet or bedpad under her the morning she goes to the hospital. Then have her lay chair back as close to horizontal as possible, and then slide her, using the bed sheet / bed pad, over to the hospital bed / MRI table. It can be done - it gets harder if she is heavy. But call them first and ask to speak with the nurse manager, and if that gets you nowhere, ask for the hospital administrator about the hoyer lift. They surely have one SOMEWHERE in a hospital. Then if all else fails, try the transfer method above, making sure there are at least 5 people moving her (3 on the far side of the bed, 2 on the chair side). If you want more details, PM me and I'll send you my phone number. My husband is immobile from the shoulders down, so I've dealt with this many times.
      Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager


        Last edited by airart1; 15 Jul 2011, 5:00 AM.


          Originally posted by airart1 View Post
          this is an actual hospital? is it in canada? u mean to tell us that they right out and told you they dont know how to get a sick person in a hospital bed, can u not ask them how all the other patience get in and out of bed? that is just so ridiculous, u get 4 people and u pick her up, how would u even consider taking her to a hospital, if u can call it that, find a better place, that is so over the top of ignorance........
          Right in the good ole US of A, I have first hand heard of and run into this myself, more than once. Sometimes there is only one choice.....
          Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager


            ..............unc....... duke
            Last edited by airart1; 15 Jul 2011, 5:01 AM.


              Get the van to take her and like everybody else said, make them use a hoyer lift. I am a pretty small guy and I always make them use a lift. They always ask if two people can lift me, I tried that once and they dislocated my shoulder. If they can't come up with a lift I would find a new place for her health needs.
              c3/c4, injured 2007


                Why, do you not believe me? If you really want the details and there is some reason you want to know, I'll PM it to you, but I'm not going to post it publicly. I get squirrely when I post very specific information like that.

                And anyway, it doesn't matter where, its just absolutely the truth, I have heard of it from many people here and have experienced it several times first hand (and that's just in the last 7 years that I've known chad, he's been paralyzed and faced this problem for 23 years).

                I cannot tell you how many times I've had to transfer my husband MYSELF from his chair to his hospital bed, or direct the staff (as I described above). But I'm lucky in that a) I'm physically fit and healthy and b) Chad is very thin so he's not heavy. As such I can manually transfer him as a last resort. That's not always an option, as it wasn't with another quad friend of mine who was heavy and it wasn't possible to manually transfer him.
                Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager


                  When my husband had a procedure on his trachea stoma I brought one of our aides along. The hospital (day unit) just got a new lift and had not had an in service on it yet. Lucky our aide had worked with the lift and ended up on the floor turning the wheels as it was not compatible with the bed.
                  When he needs chest X-Rays it is always a crap shoot if the tech will know what to do. I pull him forward and the put the plate behind him.
                  Sorry I don't have a suggestion Ybill.


                    Originally posted by airart1 View Post
                    u're location says north carolina, it has one of the best hospitals in the united states, take her to it............
                    *I* am in North Carolina, the OP is not. And even in the place, NC, with "one of the best hospitals in the united states" (which hospital is that again, and NC is a little bit big?), this happens. ALOT.

                    p.s. you edited out your post that asked me exactly what hospital and where had this problem. This makes my other response look odd about not giving out details.
                    Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager


                      I will call them personally tomorrow and see what is going on.

                      Perhaps my mom just did not speak to the right person.


                        Good advice GJ.


                          It has happened in Illinois too....crazy but the hospital only has one lift and for some reason there is no one qualified to use it. Follow Zillaangels advice, its by far the best.


                            ..............there ya go....
                            Last edited by airart1; 15 Jul 2011, 5:01 AM.


                              Air, I went and read a lot of your past posts' the only person on this thread who is negative so far has been you.

                              If this site blows your mind about how negative it is, perhaps go to another site or change the attitude of the site by being more positive.

                              No ones talking down to you, you seem to be doing that just fine. I trust many here would chastize someone for saying to you what you are saying about others.

                              The wives like Zillangel and Linda T. or anyone else here, really don't need to be told they are ignorant. They speak from experience.

                              Perhaps Z didn't want to speak publically about a hosp. that she has to take her husband for the care he needs. Take the time to read some of her posts; she doesn't have a neg. thing to say about anyone.

                              Yeah this site is great; we have people from all over the world seeking answers that they otherwise never would get answered. I feel blessed having it here and getting to know wonderful people as Z and Linda T.

                              Welcome YBill,it's great knowing that you are concerned for your mother and willing to take the time to ensure her safety. You'd be surprized by how many that come here don't have that support.