Last week, I got to go to the EMS World conference in Nashville, TN. More on Tennessee later. But, like every time I have been to an EMS conference, I was left wishing I had my own ambulance service as well as absolutely unlimited funds. I liked a lot of the things. I wanted almost all of the things...except those that were totally absurd. I am sure that my employer will hate that I went because I will only make safety oriented and expensive suggestions at budget time. Some ideas I saw there filled me with a sense of urgency and the desire to completely change every ambulance I encounter. I'll give you the top 5, not including the fake blood that actually clots.
This thing may look really silly. But, I believe that it fills a huge void in our care. We've all been on those calls when an old or overweight or frail person has fallen out of or off of or just fell and can't get up. Classic, right? Here's my usual situation. This patient has fallen, usually behind a door, or between a king sized bed and a wall. They don't have clothes on. I mean, do they ever? They weigh 300 pounds. We bend down, grab under each arm and heave them into a standing position, pop them on a chair or something just as useless and call the job done. This, of course potentiates injuries for the patient and ourselves. And something in the presentation this products representative got to me....our common practice has a complete lack of dignity for the patient.
This device goes under the patient, inflates with the touch of a button and puts them into a chair. Boom. Done. From there they can be slid back into bed, onto our cot or wherever they need to be. I saw them used in the UK, and before I am accused of rampant anglophilia....Well, okay I have it. But, this thing is awesome and is gaining traction in the US.
2. Handevy System
I'm kind of hook, line, and sinker here. The real beauty of this, is that we can basically make it at home. The beauty of that is that the inventor doesn't care! This pediatric ER doc was tired of being afraid of sick kids. He decided to help himself, his hospital, and his EMS providers by streamlining a system of pediatric resuscitation. It looks a lot like the Broselow system...only better. Only easier to use, customized to your service, and not a hot mess when you begin to tear that bag apart. I can't explain it all here, so just check it out.
3. Clean all The Things
One of my biggest problems at work is the one I can't even see. Germs. Ambulances are gross. Tools are gross. People are gross. At least one company has come up with a way to solve this problem. Here is a (ahem $14,000ish) system that sprays your ambulance with decontaminating magic stuff as often as you want! Every call! Every day! Every all the time! Must clean all the things! This magic stuff sticks to surfaces without leaving residue or smell, but it does leave one thing...peace of mind.
4. Safety Nerds Unite!
This wasn't exactly a product, but a mindset. Why did I find virtually every ambulance manufacturer at this expo boring? Because they all looked the same and they all looked dangerous. Just one bloggers opinion. If one of them could tell me how sitting sideways on a bench seat with a lap belt on is safe...I'd love to hear it. The EMS Safety Foundation is trying to make headway in ambulance design safety. They promote crazy ideas such as: forward facing captains chair instead of a bench seat! No cabinets! A desk! Properly fitted seatbelts! Not getting up while in a moving vehicle! Supplies within arm's reach! I know this all sounds crazy, but they gave me candy so whatever.
5. This Australian stretcher.
Thanks to the safety nerds, I saw this stretcher. The only thing wrong with it is that it's Australian. Just kidding. Not really because I'm not sure we can get it here. It can be loaded by one provider...without lifting...without batteries. I also saw this amazing fancy-pants stretcher available on the US market. I mean...wow. I actually has a light bar on it. What's not to like? The thing is. This Aussie one I found online starting around $3,000. This American one costs upwards of $30,000. What? They both can be loaded by one provider...without lifting. One uses batteries, the other uses physics. One has a light bar. You decide.