What is a litter?

A litter is a basket or frame utilized for the transport of injured persons; a device (as a stretcher) for carrying a sick or injured person.  The poles can be aluminum or wood. The new aluminum litters are strong but light weight (about 25 pounds). Many can have legs of different heights. The fabric is now usually flame retardant, non-slip, chemical and mildew resistant and polypropylene mesh.  The mesh cover allows blood, and body fluids, water and hazardous chemicals to flow away from patients during the decon process.  Some litters may only have 2 handles on each end and others may have an additional 2 handles in the middle of the litter.  Some litters can roll up into a backpack. Its polymer construction allows it to be dragged across tarmac, snow or grass by a single person, and the patient can be securely strapped in the same litter for helicopter extraction.  Litters are not only used in the military environment but mountain rescue, ambulance teams, in Scouting, and in the hospital environment.