Choosing the Right Cardiac Monitor Mounting System: Cot-Mounted vs. Tabletop vs. Stretcher Hook

Choosing the Right Cardiac Monitor Mounting System: Cot-Mounted vs. Tabletop vs. Stretcher Hook


In Emergency Medical Services (EMS), the efficiency and safety of equipment can significantly impact patient outcomes. One critical piece of equipment is the cardiac monitor (defibrillator), essential for tracking patients' vital signs during transport.

This blog will compare three common mounting systems: cot-mounted, tabletop, and stretcher hook, with information to help empower your decision.

Cot-Mounted Cardiac Monitor Mounting Systems

Cot-mounted systems are designed to integrate directly with the stretcher, ensuring the cardiac monitor stays with the patient throughout their journey. This mounting option offers several key advantages:


  • Enhanced Safety: The monitor is securely fastened to the cot, reducing the risk of it becoming a projectile in the event of a sudden stop or crash.
  • Continuity of Care: By remaining with the patient and paramedic from extrication to emergency transport to off-loading, it ensures continuous monitoring without the need for repositioning.
  • Operational Efficiency: Quick and easy access to the monitor during patient transport allows EMS personnel to focus on providing critical care without interruption.
  • Protection of Assets: Mounted systems ensure that the cardiac monitor is attached to the stretcher, avoiding misuse, misplacement and damage of cardiac monitoring equipment.

Tabletop Cardiac Monitor Mounting Systems

Tabletop systems typically involve placing the monitor on a fixed surface within the ambulance. While this method can keep the monitor stable during transport, it has several limitations:


  • Stability: The monitor is secured to a stable surface, reducing the risk of movement during transport.


  • Discontinuity in Care: The need to move the monitor when transferring the patient can interrupt the continuity of care, leading to potential delays in monitoring.
  • Limited Mobility: These systems are confined to the ambulance, which can be a disadvantage when the patient needs continuous monitoring outside the vehicle.
  • Inaccessibility: A hazard due to leads and/or wiring systems that are cumbersome when navigating to cardiac monitor mounting systems across the patient, in order to access the tabletop system.

Stretcher Hook Systems

Stretcher hook systems involve hanging the monitor on a hook attached to the stretcher. This method, while common, presents several significant risks:


  • Convenience: Easy to hook and unhook the monitor during patient transfers.


  • Safety Risks: In the event of an ambulance roll-over, the monitor can become a dangerous projectile. This method is not certified and does not meet modern safety standards.
  • Lack of Securement: The monitor is less secure compared to cot-mounted and tabletop systems, increasing the risk of dislodgement during transport.

Comparative Analysis

When comparing these three mounting systems, cot-mounted systems stand out as the optimal option for EMS providers. They offer a combination of enhanced safety, continuity of care, and operational efficiency that the other systems cannot match.

Safety: Cot-mounted systems provide the highest level of safety by securely attaching the monitor to the stretcher, significantly reducing the risk of it becoming a projectile.

Continuity of Care: The ability to keep the monitor with the patient throughout their journey ensures continuous monitoring, which is critical for maintaining high-quality care and ideal response times.

Operational Efficiency: The ease of access and secure attachment provided by cot-mounted systems allow EMS personnel to focus on providing uninterrupted care, improving overall efficiency and patient outcomes.


Choosing the right cardiac monitor mounting system is crucial for the safety and efficiency of EMS operations. While tabletop and stretcher hook systems have their uses, they fall short in providing the level of security and continuity of care needed in emergency situations. Cot-mounted systems, with their secure design and ease of use, represent the best choice for EMS providers looking to improve patient outcomes and responder safety.

For more information on how cot-mounted systems can benefit your EMS service, contact Rowland Emergency today. Embrace the shift towards a safer, more efficient future in emergency medical services.

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