With 117 ambulances on the road running 160,000 calls a year, silence is golden. That is to say, if leaders of a service as large as East Texas Medical Center EMS aren’t hearing gripes about their equipment from the front lines, it probably means things are working pretty well.
That’s certainly been the case for ETMC with iTec Manufacturing’s Multi-Grip Head Immobilizer, which it’s used for years.
“The best thing is, we don’t hear about it from the guys in the field,” says Andrew Petty, the service’s director of education and clinical services. “Any manager will tell you that’s a good thing, because they very rarely call you to say, ‘Hey, this did great!’ What you usually hear is, ‘This thing doesn’t work!’”
Designed by a firefighter, the Multi-Grip is a complete disposable head immobilization system that’s compatible with all cervical collars and backboards. It holds the head across the forehead and below the chin with easy-peel tape straps that secure to a pair of foam cylinders to hold the head in place. It comes in adult, child and infant sizes, the latter of which fits in a car seat.
A key benefit is the flexibility the Multi-Grip allows in immobilizing patients.
“It’s easy to position on the patient once they’re on the board,” says Petty. “Sometimes you have to be creative with the padding when you place a patient, and this device allows you to extend that creativity to the head blocks. You can cut it and make it two separate blocks, similar to the old towel rolls, if you have to, and the fact that it’s not adhered to the board allows you more flexibility with where and how you place your patient.”
Besides its ease of use and no-news-is-good-news reliability, the Multi-Grip is favorably priced for budget-conscious times, and iTec offers a program by which interested services can trial it for free.