What Happened in Vegas

EMS EXPO returned to Las Vegas this year, with a record crowd of more than 6,000 EMS personnel and 1,000+ FireHouse attendees coming to the City That Never Sleeps to pick and choose from outstanding educational offerings presented by some of the best educators our profession has to offer. They also had the opportunity to mingle with over 450 product vendors and manufacturers who filled the exhibit hall with the latest and greatest tools of our trade. Here are my top 20 picks for new and innovative products from EMS EXPO 2006. Read and enjoy.

The AllMed Ambulance Vehicle Crew Helmet from Alliance Medical
     Once they have their patient loaded and secured, the back of the ambulance offers most providers a certain comfort level. After all, it is their mobile intensive care office on wheels.
     But in spite of providing that comfort level, the back of an ambulance is still a dangerous place to work, if for no other reason than the fact that you are moving down the highway in a top-heavy mobile environment. Mathematically, the longer you stay in EMS, the more likely it is you will, at some point, be in an ambulance crash. Should that unfortunate event occur, a big, if not the single biggest, factor affecting mortality and morbidity will be how well you protect your head.
     The AllMed AVC Helmet is the first comprehensive headgear solution for EMTs and paramedics that meets U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The AVC Helmet comes in seven sizes and features a Kevlar- and carbon-fiber-reinforced composite shell, combined with a patented high-density polyethylene foam impact liner that is lighter, thinner and stronger than conventional Styrofoam liners.
     Along with impact protection, the AVC Helmet provides a number of other significant features worth mentioning. First off, the design of the helmet allows it to be worn with or without eyewear. Should you suddenly need to intubate or suction a coughing, gagging patient, just flip down the Lexan face shield, and you're protected and good to go. If you need to use a stethoscope or talk on a cell or handset, once again the unique design of the AVC allows you to take care of business without the helmet getting in your way.
     Lastly, the AllMed AVC Helmet features a "blackout" reflective stripe that appears black during the day, but reflects bright gold under illumination at night.
     I'm sure there will be some providers who whine about wearing a helmet in the back of the box, but in the event of a crash, the AllMed AVC Helmet may be all that separates you from a devastating, possibly fatal head injury.
For more: www.allmed.net.

The Model 421-SRDB Semi-Rigid Drug Case from Alltuff
     Almost to a fault, EMS providers love to be prepared, which translates into "We carry lots of stuff." In order to carry all the stuff we need, as well as all the stuff we want, we need flexibility in our jump bags. It was that matter of flexibility that got me interested in the Semi-Rigid Drug Case from Alltuff, along with the fact that it was designed by field providers with other field providers in mind.
     For example, all of the main dividers are closed-cell, non-absorbent foam that can be removed for easy cleaning and configured in numerous ways. The lid insert also pulls out for easy cleaning or restocking. If you have special storage needs, the lid insert flips over, giving you additional options.
     Along with that impressive flexibility, the 421-SRDB is clearly built for field use. The external shell is 1,000-denier Cordura nylon, which is about as tough a fabric as you can get this side of metal plate. All exposed seams are triple-stitched for strength, and the outside zippers are #10 Vislon, making them corrosion- and chemical-resistant, as well as being self-lubricating. If that isn't enough, the zippers are designed to perform well in temperatures ranging from 360 degrees (really, really hot) to minus-60 (really, really cold).
     To be honest, there are many more impressive aspects of the 421-SRDB's construction that I just don't have space to list, but it all adds up to a bag tough enough for daily use and abuse in EMS but still flexible enough to work for you, instead of the other way around.
For more: www.alltuff.com.

Tomcat ICID from BoundTree Medical
     When it comes to EMS-focused product lines, there aren't many larger than spinal-motion-restriction/spinal care products. While some are Plain Janes, others are feature-rich. The Tomcat ICID, a long spineboard with a built-in cervical immobilization device, is definitely one of the feature-rich variety, with multiple assets worth noting.
     Let's look at the CID component first. The side paddles on the CID pop right up and easily adjust laterally for a nice snug fit against the patient's head. Just to see how the Tomcat CID performed, I flopped myself down and had one of the BoundTree reps at the show secure me. Once strapped in, I had minimal flex capabilities and virtually no rotation-both very desirable characteristics in a CID.
     Of course it's not just an ease-of-use or functionality issue. Another real concern is cleanup. If you have to bring in a specialty team from MIT to disassemble the product so you can clean it, who needs the hassle? But the Tomcat is easier to take apart than a kid's toy: Just remove the red pins on either side of the rear of the board, and each side of the CID assembly drops neatly into your hand. The foam pad and Velcro straps are disposable, and the rest is easy to clean.
     The Tomcat board is set up for speed clips but will easily accommodate other straps or strapping devices. It's x-ray-translucent, has large handholds and features radiolucent fiberglass pins for the speed clips.
     The ICID component lies flat against the board for ease of storage, and the backboard component features a slightly curved design that helps keep you centered and makes for more comfort. Add to that value pricing, along with the many design and performance features, and you have a great combination. Contact your BoundTree rep and have them strap you down. That's what I did!
For more: www.boundtree.com.

Crestcoat Paint Technology from Crestline Coach Ltd.
     In case you haven't purchased an ambulance recently, they are significant investments. You don't have to add too many bells and whistles or custom compartments to cross into the six-figure price range.
     With that kind of a cash outlay, you'd certainly want to do all you could to protect your investment, and one of the best investments you can make in the way of protection, along with regular maintenance, is to have a tough exterior finish. That is exactly what the new Crestcoat paint technology represents.
     Day after day, our rigs are exposed to all sorts of road debris, environmental pollutants and highly corrosive anti-icing/de-icing solutions (mainly salt). Once you chip your finish and the paint begins to delaminate and flake off, big-time rust and/or corrosion are just around the corner. Now you're looking at body work and touch-up paint or, in a worst-fiscal-case scenario, having to replace the entire box.
     Crestline Coach's Crestcoat uses an industry-first breakthrough technology to produce one of thetoughest and most resilient finishes I've ever seen. The finish is sprayed on as a powder and then baked onto the vehicle, which produces an amazing effect. Clearly, Crestline believes in this technology, as the company is standing behind it with a solid five- to seven-year warranty. Protect that big investment with a top-quality finish: Check out Crestcoat paint technology from Crestline today.
For more: www.crestlinecoach.com.

The SwiftGrip Rapid Intubation System from DreamWest Innovations, LLC
     Sometimes it's the elegant simplicity of an idea that makes it so unique. Such is the case with the SwiftGrip Rapid Intubation System.
     By the time you need to start thinking about intubating your patient, things have clearly heated up on a call. In the next few moments, you have to get your equipment and your patient prepared. Clearly, anything you can do to simplify matters in that time frame is a real plus. Well, think how much simpler it would be to open one package instead of three or four pouches, compartments or sleeves.
     Each SwiftGrip package contains an ET tube, a stylet, a 10cc syringe and the patented SwiftGrip tube holder. The SwiftGrip Rapid Intubation System comes in sizes 6.5 through 8.0, which will allow you to intubate almost all adult patients. Along with the incredibly commonsensical packaging of these four essential tools, the tube holder itself is worth looking at more closely.
     Once you pass the tube and confirm placement, you just place the SwiftGrip around the tube and give it a firm squeeze, and let me tell you, this device really grabs that ET tube. Unless you try to literally drag the patient to the ambulance by the tube, I just don't see the SwiftGrip letting go. In addition, the adjustable silicone strap that goes behind the patient's head splits in the back for easy positioning. Once you have the strap situated where you want it, it snaps back over the sizing buttons and then folds over a second time for extra security.
     If these innovations aren't enough, the SwiftGrip Rapid Intubation System is incredibly affordable, selling at much less than your service would pay for each of the four individual components in each set (and you'd still have to put them in their locations or package them yourself, which would waste your time as well as money).
For more: www.swiftgrip.com.

DriveCam Managed Services from DriveCam
     From those innovative folks who brought you the now-famous DriveCam comes another industry milestone: managed services.
     According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.2 million people are killed each year in vehicle crashes, with 50 million more being injured or disabled. The estimated cost of this motorized mayhem is put at $518 billion.
     Given that 95% of all vehicle crashes involve driver error, DriveCam's Managed Services focus on identifying risky behaviors and then modifying or eliminating them, which, in turn, prevents crashes. When those risky behaviors go unchecked, the predictable result is lots of crashes, increased risk of injury and death to your providers and patients, and expensive insurance premiums-not a pretty picture.
     While our vehicles are built to meet specific industry needs, there are sacrifices that have to be made with things like weight, stability and crashworthiness. The bottom line on this subject is that you don't ever want to crash or roll your rig. You can go a long way toward reducing risky driving behaviors by simply contracting for DriveCam's Managed Services. Once on board, their analysts will work with your database to help you map out a strategy for your service that will reduce your accident rates, better protect your employees and, hopefully, result in more reasonable insurance premiums. That's clearly a hat trick the way I see it…or maybe a trifecta.
     Take a few minutes and hook up with DriveCam to discuss this innovative new service.
For more: www.drivecam.com.

The 28Z PROFlexx Chair Cot from Ferno
     You have to go back to the 1960s, when avocado-colored appliances were cool and bright pink, blue or yellow tile illuminated far too many bathrooms, to have been around when the original Ferno Model 28 Chair Cot hit the market. It featured a low-slung design, sat right on the floor and was as durable as a rock. The 28 could be quickly deployed as a cot, but when confronted with tight turns, narrow hallways or those smaller-than-useful elevators, it could be converted into a chair in five seconds or less.
     The 28Z PROFlexx Chair Cot is the retooling of a true industry classic, and this new version brings a number of improvements and innovations to the market.
     The first thing worth noting is the weight. At 69 pounds, it's the lightest roll-in cot on the market. You'll find four side pull-out handles and optional flip-out foot handles for additional lifting options.
     You'll also find a larger 72" mattress that actually locks in place (no more sliding-patient syndrome) and features an easy-to-clean design. Another plus with the 28Z is the gas-assist backrest that gives you literally unlimited choices for backrest position, allowing you to find the most comfortable and clinically optimal position for your patient. Lastly, the 28Z has a 700-pound load capacity for transporting bariatric patients, and also features two rolling and two swivel wheel locks for additional safety.
     Who says you can't teach an old cot new tricks? Check out the 28Z PROFlexx Chair Cot, and you'll see exactly what I mean.
For more: www.ferno.com.

Flopac O2 Delivery System from Flotec Inc.
     Oxygen therapy is one of those cornerstone therapies that benefit so many patients seen in the prehospital setting, and I must say, I always enjoy seeing improvements in this area of patient care, especially those that protect regulators from getting bashed and trashed. Consequently, I really enjoyed getting to see the state of the art in oxygen delivery, the Flopac O2 Delivery System from Flotec Inc.
     There are multiple innovations that make the Flopac such a remarkable product. The defining aspect is its InGage technology, nestled inside a solid, stainless-steel halo-style handle. This creative design totally takes the gauge out of what would be termed the zone of impact. The Flopac features all-metal construction and a double filtration system (one high pressure, one low pressure), as well as tool-free operation (i.e., only fingers are required to turn on and set the flow of oxygen). The internal pressure contents gauge is easily readable, and the numerical decals that indicate flow rate feature "night-glow" visibility.
     Showing its belief in the durability in the Flopac, Flotec is offering a five-year warranty.
     For those who are fashion conscious about their oxygen delivery, the Flopac comes in no fewer than 10-yessir, that's 10-different anodized colors. Another great add-on is the inclusion of two additional DISS-1240 outlets for powering up to two other devices, such as a ventilator or aspirator.
     Flotec has a well-earned reputation for bringing incredibly durable and dependable products to market, and I see the Flopac as being one of the most innovative and cutting-edge in an already impressive product line.
For more: www.flotecO2.com.

Medical Surge Capacity System from FSI North America
     In my opinion, prior to the terrorist events in Oklahoma City and those on 9/11, we in America were living a pretty blessed life. Unfortunately, with the occurrence of those events, we joined the rest of the world in the fight against terrorism.
     As the EMS community continues to ramp up in preparation for the next terrorist attack or natural disaster that puts mass casualties on our doorstep, part of our planning and preparation must include scalable portable shelters.
     The solution to that may well be the Medical Surge Capacity System from FSI North America. FSI's high-quality, easy-to-set-up-and-deploy pneumatic shelters are made of coated PVC and supported by air-berm construction. In the unlikely (and I mean unlikely) event that the structure has a puncture, the low-pressure design (only 4 psi) is easy to repair (as in adhesive or duct tape) until a permanent patch can be placed.
     The 11' x 11' model can be totally assembled and inflated in less than 60 seconds. If you need more space, the 30' x 50' model (1,500 square feet, enough to hold 30 beds) can be assembled and inflated in under five minutes. What if you don't have electricity to power the inflation pump? Not to fret; you can use SCBA tanks to do the job instead. Or say the deal really goes down ugly, with something like a suitcase nuke or dirty bomb, and you need a lot of capacity. The spoke-and-hub design will allow you to create a 120-bed field hospital in less than 30 minutes.
     As the saying goes, "Chance favors the prepared mind." The FSI Medical Surge Capacity System offers the scalable flexibility to help you best meet your patients' needs.
For more: www.fsinorth.com.

The 73X Portable Ventilator from Impact Instrumentation
     Transport ventilators have continued to evolve over the years, but the wait for an affordable, truly portable ventilator has gone on. That wait is now over, as a company with years of EMS highway behind it and a number of cutting-edge products has come forward with yet another great innovation: Please welcome the Uni-Vent 73X Portable Ventilator from Impact Instrumentation.
     As with the entire Impact line, the 73X is a well-thought-out, well-designed, well-built product. It features an internal rechargeable battery pack that can power its own internal compressor and provide six hours of continuous runtime. If you use an external oxygen source, you can stretch that to about 11 hours.
     The 73X has no pressure cycling and no auto-cycling or position sensitivity. A comprehensive alarm system continuously monitors its performance, providing you with early and clear warnings when problems loom (e.g., low battery, oxygen supply, etc.). A digital airway pressure gauge and battery charge indicator provide additional performance feedback. Another innovative plus is the multipurpose inlet fitting for use with or without HEPA or chem/bio filters. A padded storage/accessory case comes with your 73X, along with the backing of Impact Instrumentation, one of the most trusted, workhorse companies in our profession. When you see the words Impact Instrumentation, you can expect nothing less than top quality, and that name is stamped on the 73X Portable Ventilator.
For more: www.impactinstrumentation.com.

UltraSense Powder-Free Nitrile Gloves from Microflex
     For you EMSers who have been around long enough to remember the first generation of nitrile gloves, remember that they were close to a joke thanks to performance qualities that hovered between marginal and useless. They were stiff and provided nothing close to the sensitivity of latex gloves. On top of that, you often needed three gloves to get a set of two on, as you usually ripped at least one. Well, say hello to the UltraSense glove from Microflex, a next-generation nitrile that comes as close to the feel of latex as any nitrile glove I've ever felt.
     The UltraSense glove slides on with minimal effort, and its textured fingers provide good grip with only minimal sacrifice of sensitivity. It comes in five sizes from extra-small through extra-large. The UltraSense has a 60% relaxation rate, compared to 80% with latex. In other words, you may stretch the UltraSense as you put it on, but it recovers quickly, providing a tight, comfortable fit.
     Of the more than two dozen different gloves in the Microflex line, I think the UltraSense will soon be a top performer. Slip a pair on and feel for yourself.
For more: www.microflex.com.

The SEFRS Emergency Fracture Response System from Minto Research
     Over the years, splints have come and splints have gone, and along the way a few have worked well enough to earn industry respect and carve their way onto our rigs. One of those that's a mainstay of our industry, namely the Sager Traction Splint, has now evolved into the Sager Emergency Fracture Response System, or SEFRS for short.
     Unlike the original Sager, which was designed for use with proximal-third and mid-shaft femur fractures, the SEFRS system goes further. Built of super-durable composite plastic, the SEFRS is radiolucent, allowing the splint to remain in place during radiography. While it takes a little doing to get used to the rotational angle locking hinge/extender shafts, once you get acquainted with the SEFRS, you have a splint that will provide immobilization and traction even in extreme rescue environments. In most cases, you can assemble the SEFRS in about 15 to 20 seconds and have it applied to a fracture in about two minutes. The incredible versatility of the SEFRS allows you to splint those risky positional fractures, such as a supracondylar fracture of the arm, in the position found, reducing the likelihood of permanent nerve or vascular damage.
     Just to get a feel for the capabilities of the SEFRS, I had the splint applied multiple times as I bent and twisted around. In every case, once the SEFRS was positioned and tightened, I felt I was well immobilized. Take a moment to contact the folks at Minto Research today to check out this next-generation splint.
For more: www.sagersplints.com.

Check Clip from Qlicksmart
     I'll never forget the first time I saw this poster of a beautiful young girl, all of about 3 years old. Across the bottom of the poster were the words "I was killed by a decimal point." My stomach was in a knot by the time I finished reading that sentence and remained that way for longer than I care to remember.
     Medication errors kill an estimated 7,000 patients each year in the U.S. and make many thousands sick or, in some cases, sicker, prolonging their recoveries at huge costs. Collectively, it is estimated that medication errors cost our society more than $130 billion a year. Thanks to the Check Clip from Qlicksmart, maybe those numbers will start to drop.
     The Check Clip is an incredibly simple, easy-to-use device that quickly fixes onto a syringe. Once the desired medication has been drawn up in the syringe, you just snap the empty glass or plastic ampoule in place and hold it there with the Check Clip. Without taking the time to find and complete an add-on medication label, you can, at a glance, positively identify exactly what drug is in the syringe, how much of that drug is on hand and in what concentration. Because the Check Clip holds the actual drug container, you don't have to place a secondary label on the syringe. This makes it easier to read the increments on the syringe than trying to read around the label.
     As our profession continues to move toward needleless injection systems to help reduce needlestick injuries, you will be pleased to find that the Check Clip is compatible with both types of systems already.
     Suffice it to say that I am supportive of any and all efforts that will effectively reduce unnecessary medication errors and the mortality and morbidity associated with them. And I certainly do not want to see any more posters like the one previously mentioned ever again.
For more: www.qlicksmart.com.

Thermofocus Thermometer from Ren-Lor Medical
     Often called the fourth vital sign, a patient's temperature can be valuable diagnostic information. However, obtaining an accurate temperature with current technology comes with certain challenges (i.e., placing something somewhere for a certain period of time).
     Kiss that good-bye, as the Thermofocus is the first "at a distance" clinical thermometer in the world. New to the U.S. market this year and FDA-approved, the Thermofocus allows you to check your patient's temperature close to the forehead, armpit or navel. All you do is turn the Thermofocus on and move it toward the patient until the two infrared beams connect (usually about two inches from the patient). Within a couple of seconds, you'll have a reading that is within 1/100th of 1% accurate. You can't get much more accurate than that.
     Another interesting feature of the Thermofocus is its ability to measure the temperatures of liquids. Let's say you have one of those nasty calls where a child has been intentionally dunked in overly hot bathwater. Simply use a separate button, and you can accurately determine the temperature of the water and chart it on your patient care report. Hopefully, law enforcement can use that information to help prosecute the perpetrator and prevent a repeat performance.
     The Thermofocus is powered by four AAA batteries, which will provide you with around 5,000 uses, making it an extremely affordable diagnostic tool. On top of that, the Thermofocus is hygienic, safe and easy to use. Try it, and you'll never take a patient's temperature with any other device again.
For more: www.renlor.com.

STAT Baby from Simulaids
     One of the biggest problems when it comes to providing infant-care training and education to EMS providers is the infrequent occurrence of infant cases in the field setting. With an absence of real-life clinical opportunities, efforts turn toward human patient simulators.
     When it comes to overall versatility at a true value price, you have to look at the new STAT Baby from Simulaids. Developed with leading pediatric physician involvement, this simulator provides an amazing range of skill opportunities in a simple format. The infant is sized to a nine-month-old, weighs 18 pounds and has a reasonably lifelike feel. The list of training features includes an IO leg, peripheral IV sites in the left hand and foot, and IM sites in the left deltoid and thigh, along with SC injection. You can intubate the STAT Baby, insert a PICC line or place an NG tube. You can also insert an LMA, check pulses at eight locations, insert a Foley or defibrillate it. And that's just the big features; there are plenty more.
     You also get a laundry list of accessories that make your STAT Baby a turnkey training device. Coupled with the exceptional range of training possibilities and a price even smaller services can afford, this is a real value. Give the folks at Simulaids a call and check out their new STAT Baby.
For more: www.simulaids.com.

Nylon Fleece Emergency Blanket from Taylor Healthcare Products
     One of my best friends in all of EMS land, Thom Dick, once wrote what I consider an amazing patient-care protocol: "If any member of the EMS team is wearing a coat or jacket, the patient gets two blankets, unless they complain." Think about that for a second. You and your partner are warm and toasty in your Thinsulate-lined Gore-Tex coats, but what about the 90-pound grandmother in her little cotton nightgown shivering under that single sheet on your cot?
     You can put that concern to bed with the Nylon Fleece Emergency Blanket from Taylor Healthcare Products. This soft, comfy, super-affordable blanket comes in a standard size of 60" x 90", providing full coverage for larger patients. What if it's one of those rainy days out there, you ask? Well, you can move that patient from house to rig with confidence, as this blanket has a waterproof nylon side to keep your patient nice and dry, while the fleece on the flip side keeps them warm and comfortable.
     The Nylon Fleece Emergency Blanket is designed and value-priced for single patient use, but it is machine-washable. One last, very cool consideration: You can have these blankets embroidered with your department logo for only 50 cents per blanket (with a minimum order of 100 blankets), hopefully eliminating the sticky-fingers problem.
     Great value, excellent functionality in both warmth and weather protection, and custom embroidery-you just can't beat that.
For more: www.taylorhealthcare.com.

The Intubate Mate from The Intubate Mate
     Without question, one of the most important skills in prehospital medicine is airway management. Our ability to continuously evaluate and control a patient's airway is a key in reducing mortality and morbidity.
     Over the years, a wide variety of airway management tools have made their way into EMS. Some have found a place, while others have come and gone (anybody remember the Throat-E-Vac or the esophageal obturator airway?). But in the end, endotracheal intubation has remained the gold standard in airway management.
          Unlike patients who are intubated in the OR, who have empty stomachs and lie on tables in well-lighted rooms, we find our patients crumpled in cars, down embankments or in many other inconvenient places. Most of them have full stomachs to boot. Our intubations are challenging, to say the least.
     We may find ourselves better able to meet those challenges thanks to a new product, The Intubate Mate, from a company of the same name. The Intubate Mate premiered at EMS EXPO. It is similar to a mouth guard used in sports, but with several important modifications, the most important being wedges on either side that, once placed, keep the patient's mouth open.
     The device is made of FDA-grade PVC and comes in three sizes. It's easy to place, and once it's in position the teeth are totally protected from inadvertent teeth-vs.-tool (laryngoscope) conflict. The Intubate Mate also comes with a supplemental light source, powered by watch batteries, that slides into a preformed slot and provides additional lighting of the posterior pharynx. You'll get about 100 hours of lights from this little guy.
     Should you miss the tube on the first try, you don't have to place an OPA as you reoxygenate the patient. The Intubate Mate keeps the patient's mouth wide open, saving additional time as you bag the patient back up to acceptable O2 saturation levels. Should the patient be resuscitated, The Intubate Mate also serves as a bite block, keeping the patient from chewing on the tube.
     If you're serious about improving the way you intubate, check out The Intubate Mate. It's a simple, inexpensive tool that will change the way you work.
For more: www.theintubatemate.com.

The Thomas 72-Hour EMS Disaster Response Kit from Thomas EMS
     Having learned from Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent response, Thomas EMS brings to market the 72-Hour EMS Disaster Response Kit. The backpack that stores the 70-plus items in the kit is built with the same care and quality you'd expect from Thomas EMS, one of the most respected names in our industry when it comes to jump bags.
     Inside you'll find a variety of items to help you stay alive and remain functional as a care provider should you suddenly find yourself isolated from your rig or even your quarters, be it for a few hours or a few days. A partial list of some of the more mission-intensive items includes work gloves, 50 feet of rope, a first aid kit, a compass, two N95 masks (effective against anthrax, SARS or bird flu), a water bottle and four water-purification tabs, a 16-function knife, three hand and body warmers, a poncho, an emergency candle, waterproof matches and an FM radio with batteries and a headphone.
     A big part of preparing for a terrorist event or disaster response is taking care of your people, and I see little reason why two of these kits shouldn't be hanging in every rig. Should your rig become isolated because of downed lines, structural collapse or whatever, the ambulance can turn into a mini emergency clinic if you can keep the EMS team functional-which means, at a minimum, keeping them warm, dry and with safe drinking water.
     The Thomas 72-Hour EMS Disaster Response Kit is well designed and offered at an affordable price. Get better prepared today.
For more: www.thomasems.com.

TurboFlare from TurboFlare USA
     If given a choice, I bet most EMSers would prefer to run calls in bright midday light with no weather problems. However, the reality is that bad weather, night calls and motor vehicle crashes go together. We frequently find ourselves challenged to secure such scenes, with a primary goal being to make them as safe as possible for everyone involved.
     One of the most important aspects in a safe scene is traffic control, and in the past that has often involved the use of those old-style best-to-look-away-when-lighting fuses. While quite visible, they were only good for about 20 minutes, and then it was time to light a few more. Over the course of a year, you could burn up quite a few fuses. Thanks to TurboFlare USA, you have another choice: their signature product line, the TurboFlare.
     Powered by four C batteries, the TurboFlare's 20 high-output LEDs will provide extremely visible lighting for about 150 hours. A low-battery indicator light tells you when you have 20% battery life left, leaving you more than enough time to swap out the batteries. The TurboFlare is made of DuPont Surlyn (golf ball material) and has a weatherproof O-ring seal and a spring-loaded, moisture-resistant on/off switch.
     Amazingly, the TurboFlare comes with something few, if any, products in our industry have: a limited lifetime warranty. Great value, outstanding performance, a choice of six LED colors and a limited lifetime warranty-need I say more?
For more: www.turboflareusa.com.

Water-Jel Dressing for Hand Burns from Water-Jel Technologies
     When it comes to pure misery, there is little to compare with the pain from a burn injury. On occasion, even small-percentage burns, say less than 5%, in the wrong place can cause excruciating pain and suffering.
     Another new specialty dressing, this one for hand burns, was presented at this year's EXPO courtesy of those perennial burn-care experts at Water-Jel Technologies. This dressing is made of the company's proven, scientifically formulated gel-the same water-based, water-soluble, bacteriostatic and biodegradable one used in other Water-Jel products-in a medical-grade, non-woven wrap.
     To use this dressing, just open it up flat, place it under the hand, then intertwine the dressing between the fingers. With the dressing going over and under the fingers, the fingers are separated, thus eliminating "fusing" or "webbing" and subsequent surgery to separate them.
     Individually foil-wrapped and with a shelf life of five years, the Water-Jel Dressing for Hand Burns joins an already impressive line of other burn-care dressings from the company. Pain reduction and quality emergency burn care-which, in turn, improves healing-is exactly what Water-Jel Technologies specializes in.
For more: www.waterjel.com.

Mike Smith, BS, MICP, is program chair for the Emergency Medical Services program at Tacoma Community College in Tacoma, WA, and a member of EMS Magazine's editorial advisory board.

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