In response to the growing demand for evacuation aids capable of transporting heavy weights down staircases, using minimal operators and reducing associated moving and handling problems, we are pleased to announce the launch of the Med Sled products in to our existing suite of equipment.

The Med Sled is a tough, rigid Polyethylene Sled which has been safety tested to 450kg (70 stone). The main features of the Sled is the patented perimeter tether – which provides patient stabilisation when descending stairs or lowering from a bed, and the unique stairwell braking system – which allows for a safe and controlled stair descent of individuals 2 or 3 times the weight of the operator and helps to reduce the risk of manual handling injuries. Both the tether and braking system come preassembled on every sled as standard, enabling simple, fast deployment in emergency situations.

Designed and manufactured in the USA, Hospital Aids and Sister Company Spectrum Healthcare (UK) Ltd have been appointed the official sole distributors of Med Sled emergency evacuation devices, within the UK and Ireland, for ARC Products, LLC.

How does the breaking system work?

The breaking system comprises of a strong tether rope and a carabineer. Once the user has reached the stairs the carabineer is secured to the stair railing bracket – special med sled brackets can be purchased and installed in situations where the railing bracket is not suitable.

With an operator at each end of the sled, the head end operator firmly grabs the loose tether and take out the slack, making sure the tether is wrapped once completely around the carabineer.

With the operator at the foot end ready to pull the foot strap, the head end operator slowly lets out the tether to lower the sled. The carabineer provides a friction breaking system, with little effort needed from the head end operator.

Once the sled has reached the bottom landing the head end operator unhooks the Carabineer and walks it to the lower landing while taking up the tether slack.

Both operators work together to turn the sled on the landing to repeat process.

Has the Med sled been successfully used in any real evacuation?

The best example of where Med Sleds have been successfully used was during Hurricane Sandy, October 2011, when New York City Hospital had to be evacuated.

During the storm the hospital basement started to take on water, the lower floors and elevator shafts filled with 10 to 12 feet of water causing the main power to fail. Backup generators slowly began to breakdown, resulting in a 90% power-outage and forced staff to begin an evacuation.

Around 300 patients, including 20 babies in neonatal intensive care – some on battery-powered respirators and others needing to be manually ventilated by staff, had to be transferred to neighbouring hospitals.

Teams of four to five staff at the hospital aided in the evacuation of the very sick and non-ambulant patients on Med Sled, using the tethered braking system, from as high up as the 17th floor – with emergency crews and other responders leading the way by torch light.

The evacuation was completed successfully with no fatalities or injuries thanks to the hospitals’ forward planning, disaster preparedness and the instillation of Med Sleds.

Is the med sled only for adult evacuation?

No. There is equipment to suit all kind of requirements from the movement of multiple infants to very large individuals. This includes cushioned inserts which allow the standard and bariatric Med Sleds to be used for the evacuation of up to two toddlers or three babies – including life sustaining equipment and ‘special care’ baby evacuation baskets and a rack system which eliminates the need to have infant beds at an alternative care site, following an evacuation.

For more information on any of the Med Sled evacuation devices visit our evacuation section or contact us to arrange a free demonstration


Hospital Aids
Unit H3/A
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United Kingdom



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