82nd Medic
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Stretchers or Litters????

Wed Feb 28, 2007 00:06

Hi,
:oops: sorry if this is a silly question, but I was wondering why stretchers are also called litters.

Thanks Daz 8)

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Ben
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Wed Feb 28, 2007 01:01

Hi again Daz,

"Litter" is the official US Army term for any flat supporting framework, such as a piece of canvas stretched between parallel shafts. As you will notice, all of the designations for stretchers in our database are indicated as "Litter". The origins of the word Litter are actually from a vehicle-type device that was first developed in Asia. It consists of long, often wooden or bamboo poles which are held at each end by a person. Four people are used to transport the litter, using their shoulders to support the weight. Between the two poles is small canvas or wooden compartment in which the passenger is located. This was a very primitive form of carriage, or taxi.

A "stretcher" is, in theory, a simple version of a litter, although I suspect that the idea of a "stretcher" being called a "litter" dated back well into the 1800s, and army tradition etc., meant that the nomenclature of such an item remained the same.

I hope that the response makes sense, if not, kindly let me know and I will try and clarify.

Many thanks,
Ben

82nd Medic
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Wed Feb 28, 2007 18:39

Thanks Ben,
Your response is clear enough, and informative as usual. Thanks again.

8) Daz

docdean64
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Thu Mar 01, 2007 03:59

The term "stretcher" did not come into usage for our concerns until after WW2. The correct parlance for the device when speaking in a WW2 vocabulary would be "Litter"
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82nd Medic
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Thu Mar 01, 2007 17:46

hi docdean64

Thanks for your reply and the info


8) Daz

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