What is the difference between a stretcher, patient trolley and barouche?

The world is an interesting place, where localised terminology has been used for many years to call Medical Patient Transport Trolleys by a variety of names.

In Australia and the UK, the product is mostly referred to as a Patient Trolley. This is summarised online as ‘a light bed on wheels, used to move patients in a hospital’.

In South Australia and some parts of the USA, the product is regularly referred to as Barouche. The meaning of this is ‘a 4 wheeled carriage’.

It is unclear exactly where the word Stretcher stemmed from, however it has become one of the most popular terms, used broadly across the globe to describe this type of patient transport equipment. This is referred to as ‘a device used to carry a person who must lie flat and can't move on their own’.

Another word sometimes used is Gurney which is ‘an apparatus used for moving patients who require medical care’.

Whatever you, your facility or the manufacturer chooses to call it, essentially all iterations mean a similar thing – ‘a re-usable, mobile device for transient to short-term use in a healthcare environment, that allows a patient to be adequately supported during transport/transfer for the purpose of care, nursing, examination and/or treatment within the environment’. Most Transport and Procedure Trolleys can be accessorised to accommodate intravenous poles, patient monitors, oxygen tanks, articulating headpieces, and other equipment. They may also be seen to function like Hospital Ward Beds.

Read all about the differences between a Stretcher and Hospital Bed here.


I'd like some more info about Modsel stretchers