Change happens fast in the EMS world and upgrades to medical equipment don't lag behind. This guide features a few of our favorite updates to essential equipment to improve performance and efficiency, technological improvements to make daily life easier, and a few surprises that will be a priority on the next requisition list.
Patient handling and transport has always been one of the primary concerns of emergency medicine; how to move a patient who is unresponsive, medically-unstable, in an odd or precarious location or whom is reluctant to be relocated. While the next few products might not be able to help with the last, they're certain to make transport easier. The Hartwell Medical CombiCarrier II, as the name implies, combines the benefits of a scoop stretcher with an extrication board. This design makes it easy to extricate patients from a variety of locations while limiting patient movement and reducing the need for logrolling techniques. This board separates at either end with self-locking latches and has a concave surface for added stability of the patient. It is ideal for use with patients whom have suspected spinal, hip or pelvic injuries; this board is also X-ray compatible. Movement through stairways is always a difficult prospect; they often feature limited space, may have lower lighting and, depending on the size of the building, may be quite long. The STATForce by QuadMed PRO EZ Powered Stair Chair
aims to make this strenuous maneuver easier. This chair is battery-powered and has adjustable handrails, its compact size makes movement through stairwells safer and easier than the traditional two person manual-carry models. This unit is a great choice for not only medical transport, but even day to day movement of patients up and down stairs. A single charge of the chair offers a total of 1.5 operating hours or roughly 300 flights of stairs. The inclusion of an integrated navigation light also provides added visibility when necessary, making this a great choice for emergency evacuations.
Patient immobilization can be another tricky aspect of patient handling for emergency services where injuries must remain stable, but the situation requires the patient to be extricated from their location for transport to a hospital or healthcare center. The Pulmodyne SIPQuik Cervical Splint is the latest update to the standard cervical collar. Unlike traditional collars, this design features a soft, micro-bead filling that uses a vacuum pump for structure. This creates stability without stretching the neck or restricting the jugular venous return, which is a detrimental effect of a standard c-collar. If a tracheal tube is required, the collar can be worn backwards to accommodate. Additionally, the SIPQuik fits both children and adults, saving space in the kit.
Optimization of treatment and providing the best possible outcome for the patient is always a priority and the following selection of products offer an innovative update to patient care. While basic CPR care hasn't changed much, the Zoll ResQPOD Impedance Threshold Device (ITD) optimizes the a rescuer's efforts. It is a simple, non-invasive device that delivers intrathoracic pressure regulation therapy to improve perfusion. The addition of vacuum regulates pressure in the thorax and prevents unnecessary air from entering the chest during CPR, which increases circulation by creating a vacuum that pulls more blood back into the heart, resulting in better casualty outcomes. According to studies, blood flow to the heart doubles, while blood flow to the brain increases by 50% with an increased survival rate of 25% or more from cardiac arrest when the ResQPod is used. Intubation is one of the more common field procedures and the Intersurgical i-view Video Laryngoscope provides all the advantages of a integrated video laryngoscopy in the convenience of a single-use, disposable product. This laryngoscope is ready to use right out of the box and is usable in a direct technique with its incorporated Macintosh blade. The integral LCD screen offers optimal viewing for a variety of light conditions making it ideal for use in all situations.
Identifying the best procedure location is often complicated when working in emergency situations due to location, light conditions and other uncontrollable factors. The SAM Medical ThoraSite simplifies finding the ideal procedure site for a lateral thoracostomy or similar procedure. This anatomical landmark guide provides safer access to the pleural space by lining up an optimal zone; this guide is disposable and designed for use on a single patient and may be used on either side. It is also made of radiolucent material. In similar circumstances, wound treatment in the field is a far different affair than treating wounds and surgical sites in a clinical setting. The use of tactical-type wound care products can help reduce the time to treat and increase the efficacy of treatment. The H&H Mini2x combines a compression bandage with tactical gauze for quick treatment. The tactical gauze included features a higher absorption rate than standard gauze and it designed for the specific treatment of wounds that can occur in the field. The included compression bandage ensures a stable, compressed hold of the gauze, and the versatile combination is an ideal fit for wound care of all types. This combined package is also ultra-lightweight and available in a vacuum-sealed bag that takes up very little space.