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.