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EMS Expo 2008 Top Innovation Awards

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EMS EXPO 2008 Top INNOVATION Awards

It makes sense that the best and most innovative products of the year would be on display at the world's largest EMS conference and trade show. Mike Smith scoured the exhibit hall at EMS EXPO in Las Vegas last October and came up with the following outstanding product innovations of 2008.

SUPER CHIEF SPARTAN FURION FROM BRAUN INDUSTRIES


Sometimes you just have to take a good thing and make it better, and that's what Braun did when they married their popular Super Chief ambulance design with the International 4300 chassis. Using the same platform that has been successfully used on fire apparatus applications to deliver a unit specifically designed for the emergency fire and rescue industry, it looks to be a great match. Having this "fleet similarity" provides several benefits by simplifying maintenance and repair work, which, in turn, saves shop-time and money.

     As with all of Braun's lines, the Super Chief has a SolidBody ambulance design, built as one integrated module from flat sheet, marine-grade aluminum. Full-contact weld seams with no separate extruded frame provide strength and stability to the Super Chief. The arched roof design allows for more headroom in the patient area, in addition to adding strength to the roof—a key factor if the vehicle is in a roll-over. The cab-over-engine design makes for a roomy interior (always a great creature feature) with outstanding visibility.

     A menu of standard options and custom features ensures that your Super Chief will meet your every need. Choose from custom storage cabinets with lift-up cabinet doors, a slide-out writing table, an EZGlide sliding door, or, if you want 'em… Corian countertops. Full piano hinges, deep track hardware and durable drawer slides keep doors and drawers operating smoothly and accurately for years of trouble-free service out in the real world of EMS.

     For more: www.braunambulances.com; 800/22-BRAUN.

SA-441M MAGFORCE MECHANICAL SIREN FROM CARSON MANUFACTURING

     You only have to pull up at a stoplight one time next to a car with a high-decibel radio blasting to understand one of the challenges of getting a driver's attention when your emergency vehicle is approaching. As you watch the quarter panels pulse in and out like a pair of metallic lungs, it's painfully obvious that you will need technology to win this auditory battle if you want to make your EMS presence known.

     Thanks to the folks at Carson Manufacturing, you can take the auditory upper hand in those situations with the SA-441M Magforce Mechanical Siren. This warning device takes siren performance to the next level by combining a classic mechanical tone and the new Carson air horn with the power of an independent, two-channel, 200-watt amplifier for maximum clearing output.

     The dual tone feature of this siren incorporates Carson's popular selection of siren tones and their new mechanical tone into alternating sweeps, which gives the perception of two sirens operating simultaneously to deliver a shockwave of sound that penetrates even the most sound-resistant vehicles on the road today.

     What really sets the M-series apart is the combination of a true mechanical tone and a "stutter" air horn sound. It eliminates the need for a bulky exterior siren, compressors, air tanks and tubing, saving space and some significant money while still delivering the auditory punch of that distinctive "big engine" sound that makes drivers instinctively pull over.

     The SA-441M can be operated by either a manual siren button or foot pedal if you wish to maintain continuous volume to clear out those particularly pesky intersections or get the attention of Rapmaster and his friends in the pulsating automobile. You get a five-year warranty from the folks at Carson with your M-Series siren. Since Carson was the original inventor of the electronic siren over 40 years ago, it's unlikely you'll ever need it.

     The super-quiet design of many of today's automobiles coupled with high-quality, high-decibel output of many auto stereo systems gives you the auditory edge with the SA-441M.

     For more: www.carson-mfg.com; 888/577-6877.

NEXSPLINT CERVICAL IMMOBILIZATION SYSTEM FROM EMEGEAR, LLC

     Most of the old dogs in EMS can recall some of the original cervical collars, like the single-piece foam collar that wrapped around the neck and fastened with a single piece of Velcro. A neckwarmer…yes. A cervical immobilization device…no.

     Since that time, cervical immobilization devices have evolved into far more functional tools of the trade; however, virtually all of the CIDs currently on the market are designed to be applied to patients who can be placed in neutral alignment. For those who can't, typically because of pain with movement, it has still been a jury-rig of towels, blankets and tape.

     Thankfully, we now have another choice: the NexSplint Cervical Immobilization System from EmeGear, LLC.

     The NexSplint is a compact, tactical version of EmeGear's XCollar. It provides excellent immobilization for patients who can be positioned neutrally, as well as for those who are asymmetrical, working almost like a mini-backboard for the cervical spine. With 24 optional adjustments, you can literally "build" the NexSplint around the patient, pretty much irrespective of their position. These sizing/fit options also allow the NexSplint to be sized to fit both pediatric patients and adults, eliminating the need to carry multiple-size c-collars.

     The NexSplint does take some getting used to, due to its extraordinary versatility. But once you develop some mastery with it (it took me a couple of demos and about 15 minutes of practice time), it is truly a milestone in the evolution of cervical spine care.

     For more: www.xcollar.com; 805/684-6568.

EVS1787 WALL MOUNT ATTENDANT SEAT FROM E.V.S. LTD.

     Pretty much as far back as I can remember the bench seats in ambulances were all configured to allow transport of a second patient. During my 36 years in EMS, I can count on my fingers the number of times I've ever seen that happen. And yes, there is the storage area under the bench where extra linens, a spare O2 tank and the Hare traction splint are usually kept. Assuming you can find storage elsewhere in the rig, I believe the days of the bench seat in rigs are soon to vanish.

     Data continues to pile up about the increased risk of death and disability for unsecured providers in the patient compartment who are involved in MVCs. The sooner we can bag the bench seat and replace it with two wall-mount attendant seats, the better.

     For provider agencies looking for that capability today, look no further than the Advanced Seating Design EVS1787 Wall Mount Attendant Seat. Installed by OEMs, the wall-mount structure features a built-in place with a three-pin latch release mechanism that meets or exceeds the requirements of FMVSS 206.

     Only EVS offers a side-facing safety seating solution engineered to maximize your ability to attend to a patient while remaining secured in the Schroth Safety Products 5-Point Safety Belt. The unique design of this seat system features an ergonomically correct seat back with an independent seat bottom that allows it to track forward up to 6 inches, track back against the bulkhead to allow access around the cot, or track to any of five other positions during transport.

     Should that rare moment occur when you actually need that spot for a second patient, a quick-release lever on the wall allows easy removal of the seat backs from the wall, making for a quick reconfiguration.

     Do yourself a favor. Step into your rig and take a good hard look at that bench seat. Then think about the risk you incur sitting unsecured on that seat when you would be far safer in an EVS1787 Wall Mount Attendant Seat.

     For more: www.evsltd.com; 800/364-3218.

SC-EB ELECTROSTATIC SPRAYER FROM ELECTROSTATIC SPRAYING SYSTEMS

     One of the ongoing battles in EMS is dealing with the various bacteria, viruses and fungi that routinely try to populate the environment in which we work. Without question, the battle to control methycillin-resistant staph aureus (MRSA) has to be one of the most worrisome problems we face. With all the nooks and crannies we have to clean, how can we hedge our bets relative to keeping our tools and workplace "patient friendly" and pathogen unfriendly?

     A big part of the answer may be the SC-EB Electrostatic Spraying System from Electrostatic Spraying Systems. The SC-EB utilizes a revolutionary patented process to apply water-based disinfecting and sanitizing solutions to hard-to-cover surface areas. The primary benefit of electrostatic sprayers is the remarkable coverage they achieve without wasting any solution. To accomplish this feat, the SC-EB takes each single drop of solution and turns it into 900 drops, each roughly 30 microns in size. In addition, the SC-EB adds a 1200 negative charge to the chemical spray that allows for a thin, even coverage that won't bead up or run off, that literally "wraps around" and covers the underside and back of the surface being treated, even though it's being sprayed on frontally.

     The SC-EB is lightweight, mobile, affordable and compact, and comes packed in a close-to-indestructible wheeled Pelican case with a retractable pull handle that can be padlocked shut for additional security. Two 1-liter Nalgene bottles inside the SC-EB allow the operator to quickly switch between two chemical mixtures. Powered by a standard 110V power supply, the SC-EB has an 8-foot spray range and can be fitted with up to 100 feet of hose for longer-distance applications.

     Don't let staph, MRSA and other bacteria-based infections get the best of your work environment and increase the risk of infection for you, your team or your patients. Put the SC-EB to work for your service today.

     For more: www.maxcharge.com; 800/213-0518.

D.A.R.T. FROM GLOBAL PATHOGEN SOLUTIONS

     If cocaine and amphetamines didn't crank up enough people to perform incredible acts of stupidity and suffer metabolic meltdowns, the methamphetamine plague has added fuel to the fire. Given that it only takes a sixth-grade chemistry background and some easily acquired ingredients to cook meth, the likelihood that the world of meth will cease to exist is close to zero.

     As long as those three drugs remain available for use and abuse, there will unfortunately be people who use them to excess and, at some point, will cross the physiologic line into what is termed "excited" or "agitated" delirium. Once in this state, these patients are next to impossible to manage and frequently need to be Tased to get them under control. Many of these patients are marginally under control, at best, and may need to be Tased several times before they are safe enough to handle. And that brings up a real exposure problem: what to do with those contaminated and potentially pathogen-laden Taser darts.

     That is not a problem anymore, thanks to D.A.R.T.—the dart acquiring and removal tool from Global Pathogen Solutions. The moment you pick it up, this device reeks of common sense and practicality. Just place an X-Tractor tip on the handle, press either chamber over the tip of the dart and press until it locks on the dart. Pull back on the handle until the dart is removed. Depress the side button and retract the dart into the X-Tractor tip. Use the second chamber if there is a second dart. When finished with the extraction(s), place the red locking cap over the end of the X-Tractor to safely seal the dart(s) inside the tip, which is now locked, leakproof and ready for disposal.

     If lighting and poor visibility are an issue, turn on the four LED lights on the handle. Though they're powered by a single 9-volt battery, you can expect about 100,000 hours of performance from those LEDs. Just thinking about how many dart extractions that might represent makes my head hurt. If anyone can give me one good reason why any rig responding to a "patient Tased" would do so without a D.A.R.T., I'd love to hear it. I don't believe that reason exists.

     For more: www.globalpathogensolutions.com; 360/833-0911.

SIDE-IMAGING SONAR FROM HUMMINBIRD

     When fishing technology first became available, my first fish-finder was made by Humminbird. With over 40 years of excellence in imaging technology, it came as little surprise to me that the folks at Humminbird have used their expertise to introduce Side-Imaging Sonar to the prehospital market.

     Though our aquatic calls are often called water rescue, in most cases that is not an accurate description, as body recovery is the function frequently being performed. The circumstances that caused the tragedy in the first place, e.g., flooded river, breached dam/dike, are often still present, making the dive team's work even more hazardous than normal. Given the non-emergent nature of body recovery, anything that can reduce the inherent overall danger level and limit divers' time in the water to a minimum is a real plus. Enter Humminbird's Side-Imaging Sonar.

     The innovative side-imaging transducer attaches quickly to the boat's transom, thereby eliminating the difficulties often encountered with deploying a traditional tow-behind transducer. Simple push-button operation allows the boat's operator to work the system, eliminating the need for a technician to run and monitor a separate computer. Built-in GPS and base map allow for waypoints to be saved real-time on the sonar screen to mark potential search spots. You have a choice of either an 8" or 10.4" screen size; both have excellent readability.

     If I were responsible for an agency that provided water rescue, I wouldn't put my divers in the water without this innovative imaging technology to drive their search/recovery efforts.

     For more: www.humminbird.com; 800/633-1468.

PROTEK PASSENGER AWARENESS SYSTEM FROM INTERTEK INDUSTRIAL CORP.

     Few can resist the lure of watching an emergency vehicle go by, with its passing blend of bright colors and flashing lights wrapped in a siren. While cool and mesmerizing on the outside to members of the lay public who watch us pass, inside, our office is a potentially deadly workspace, a combination of jump bags and boxes, loose equipment and lots of hard 90-degree angles. Nothing you want to kiss at 60 miles per hour.

     Clearly, one of our biggest challenges is that the very nature of our work necessitates that we be mobile and able to access any and every part of our patient's body. At the same time, we need to aggressively pursue any steps we can take to increase provider safety during transport.

     Moving us toward that goal is Intertek Industrial Corp.'s new Protek Passenger Awareness System. Utilizing state-of-the-art sensing technology, the Protek Passenger Awareness System first indicates the location of seated passengers and then whether or not the passengers are secured in a safety restraint. This is real-time data that is always available to the driver via LED indicators on a display panel and is supported by audio tones as well. Red indicates a passenger is seated but is not secure; green indicates that the passenger is seated and secure; and an amber light indicates that there is improper use of seat belts. Up to six seats can be monitored simultaneously at any given moment.

     The Protek Passenger Awareness System is tied into the transmission, so any time the vehicle is placed into gear, the unit is automatically activated, giving the driver immediate feedback on the status of his passengers. Take the next step in provider safety and look into the Protek Passenger Awareness System for your rigs.

     For more: www.intertekindustrial.com; 800/848-1043.

MEDVAULT FROM THE KNOX COMPANY

     Inventory and security control for narcotics and other controlled substances is an ever-increasing concern for EMS provider agencies everywhere. This important and often daunting task just got a lot simpler, thanks to the MedVault from the Knox Company. Drawing on over 30 years' experience providing rapid entry for the fire service, Knox builds the MedVault from a special alloy, heavy-grade aluminum with all-welded construction. Using a heavy-duty bolt action lock and a high-security electronic keypad, the MedVault provides excellent security for your controlled substances, while at the same time offering rapid access to medications in emergent situations.

     Designated personnel gain access by entering a personal PIN number. Any access or attempted access to the MedVault is recorded, resulting in an error-free audit trail using their patent-pending Virtual Interlock Validator. Designated personnel can access and retrieve this historical record via a USB port that includes a date and time stamp and a user ID for each activity. The MedVault stores from 1 to 5,000 PIN codes and up to 25,000 access events.

     The MedVault can be secured in either a recess or flush mount configuration and operates with a single 12-volt power source. In the unlikely event of a loss of power, the MedVault can be accessed with a manual key override. Even under these circumstances, the date, time and ID of the person gaining access is still recorded by the MedVault software.

     Tough construction to provide the high level of security you need for controlled substances while providing outstanding data recovery capabilities makes the MedVault a top pick for me.

     For more: www.knoxbox.com; 800/552-5669.

POWERMED-X POWER COT FROM MONSTER MEDIC

     With each new iteration of power-lift cots, we continue to work toward improving back safety for our workforce. Given the frequency with which back injuries occur in our field, the power-lift cots have the potential to save many a career.

     The rollout of the POWERMED-X power cot from Monster Medic has raised the bar for all that follow, and I mean significantly raised, as the features listed for this cot are lengthy and impressive.

     Starting with stability, outstanding is the word. I watched one company rep stand on top of the cot, heels side by side, on ONE CORNER, and the cot didn't so much as blink in regard to tipping. If you try to raise the POWERMED-X on an uneven surface, the cot technology automatically calculates the angle of lift; if it is unsafe and would lead to a tip, the lift is stopped immediately and will remain stopped until you correct the angle of the lift.

     Speaking of great technology, this cot has it. The WEIGHTRAX patient weight-calculation system provides an accurate weight and the LIGHTLIFT grab bars guarantee a safe, "no pinch" place to grab hold. The POWERTRAX dual energy system utilizes two Milwaukee V28 lithium ion batteries, giving this cot a 400% increase in performance over its closest competitor. Once you place the cot in the load position, it automatically "remembers" the deck height of your rig and will return to that level unless you manually change it. A memory card monitors all lifts, providing downloadable data via a USB port to help you provide maintenance only when necessary, keeping those maintenance dollars in your agency's pocket.

     The POWERMED-X strapping pattern is excellent, especially in regard to securing the torso. The "safe attach" strap fixation allows for quick removal of the straps if they get goobered up on a call. And speaking of clean-up, you can take the powerwash to the POWERMED-X, as all of the technology is hermetically sealed. Enough said: Check out the POWERMED-X cot. Do it now.

     For more: www.monstermedic.com; 877/4BIGEMT.

PRESCRIPTION FOR THE FLU FROM THE NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL

     Given the amount of education and training time we focus on dealing with MRSA, AIDS/HIV and the seemingly never-ending varieties of hepatitis, I find it remarkable that we give only lip service to influenza. As history tells us, the 1918 flu pandemic made three passes around the globe, getting more virulent with each pass. In the end, it wiped out roughly 20% of the earth's population in just a couple of months. If that isn't a bug worth addressing, I don't know what is.

     The National Safety Council's Prescription for the Flu education and training program is based on the OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for an Influenza Pandemic, and it comes in two parts. Part One focuses on top management and helps them understand how an influenza pandemic might affect their organization and its ability to function. Part Two trains employees in ways to prevent the spread of flu by giving them the knowledge and skills to identify various types of influenza strains and the conditions that come together to create a pandemic, along with the ability to recognize the warning signs of an impending influenza pandemic. Lastly, the program identifies the steps EMS providers can take to protect themselves and their families from the flu, as well as what steps to take if they or their family get the flu.

     The Prescription for the Flu education and training program is a tight, two-hour presentation full of practical information. As the old expression goes, those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it and I, for one, want no part of a bug that has the potential to quickly and efficiently wipe out 20% or more of the earth's population.

     For more: www.nsc.org; 630/285-1121.

LIFESENSE FROM NONIN

     For those seriously ill or injured, hanging-in-the-balance patients, having clear visual access to all of your diagnostic displays provides critical information to help you make more timely and appropriate patient care decisions.

     The LifeSense multi-parameter monitor is a tool that will put critical patient information at your fingertips. Nonin's PureSAT SpO2 technology provides improved signal acquisition quality for low perfusion states relative to patients' oxygen saturation. Waveform capnography provides instant real-time feedback on how well or poorly your patient is breathing and ventilating. A backlit LCD display on a wide, high-visibility screen provides both numeric values and waveforms continuously, making it ideal for quick spot-checks or continuous monitoring.

     Lithium ion battery technology powers the LifeSense, giving you up to 8 hours of performance on a single charge. Because of its sidestream design, you can use the LifeSense on intubated as well as non-intubated patients. A full line of infant to adult SpO2 sensors (reusable or disposable) and sampling lines are available. The TrendSense memory module captures up to 4 hours of trending data for patient care CQI purposes.

     The LifeSense multi-parameter monitor is a versatile tool from a respected manufacturer that gives you the ability to confirm ET tube placements; monitor oxygen saturation, pulse and respiratory rates; provide waveform trend monitoring; and gauge the efficacy of CPR. Having that information readily available so you can make the best decisions for your patient makes the LifeSense multi-parameter monitor a serious consideration as an addition to your patient care toolbox.

     For more: www.nonin.com; 800/356-8874.

BLIZZARD HEAT CASUALTY BLANKET FROM PERSYS MEDICAL

     While there has always been a disaster/MCI component under the umbrella of prehospital medicine, these events were treated as infrequently occurring anomalies, and to some degree they were. About once a year or so, some EMS system would draw the short stick and get whacked with a multiple-patient event.

     Unfortunately, not until terrorism finally reached its ugly hand into our country, increasing the likelihood that EMS would be faced with managing a scene with potentially huge patient numbers, did "scalability" become a common term. While the military has understood the scalability concept since Day 1, we on the civilian side have been much slower to catch on.

     One of the challenges of managing large numbers of patients is keeping them warm, and the Blizzard Heat Casualty Blanket from PerSys Medical will do just that. This second-generation survival blanket that has saved lives on battlefields for years now makes its way to our world.

     Open the Blizzard Heat Casualty Blanket and four strategically placed heating pads activate automatically, quickly heating the blanket to over 100°F, then maintaining that temperature for up to 12 hours. The hooded, cocoon design helps limit heat loss. Another plus: The heating pads can be moved anywhere in the blanket for more specific warming needs.

     The Blizzard Heat Casualty Blanket incorporates lightweight Reflexcell material, which is pound-for-pound a better insulator than goose down, but at the same time is resilient, 100% weatherproof, ultraportable and reusable. If your system is looking into the various elements of scalability, specifically warmth and weather protection in a compact, lightweight package, then taking a close look at the Blizzard Heat Casualty Blanket is a must.

     For more: www.performancesystems.com or www.ps-med.com; 888/737-7978.

MAB MEDICAL AMBULANCE/EVACUATION BUS FROM SARTIN SERVICES, INC.

     Unless you were sequestered in a cave during Hurricane Katrina, you almost certainly heard the particularly disturbing tale of a nursing home full of fatalities secondary to having no ability to evacuate the residents.

     With natural disasters as a given part of life and the often-staggering volume of patients they produce, along with the added possibility of a terrorist event, having a versatile ALS-capable vehicle that can treat and transport large numbers of patients is a valuable asset.

     One excellent choice for a vehicle to meet those needs is the MAB Medical Ambulance/Evacuation Bus from Sartin Services, with a custom interior for buses that uses a stacking stretcher system with patient capacities ranging from 6 to 30. Sliding stretcher receivers make loading or unloading patients safe and easy.

     Other features on the MAB Evacuation Vehicle include a stem-to-stern oxygen system with individual metered stations fed by a cascade system secured in heavy-duty roll-out trays, an on-board generator, full heating and air conditioning capabilities, emergency lighting and siren, and a rear patient-loading ramp. Even with all that, there's still lots of room for attendant seating, along with a bunch of storage and plenty of electrical outlets to allow for the transfer of equipment, from batteries to hardline.

     A lot of hard work and deliberate thought went into the MAB Ambulance/Evacuation Bus from Sartin Services. Quality construction and innovative design come together in a package that offers a wide range of flexibility, depending on what type patients you are caring for.

     For more: www.sartinservices.com; 888/524-5505.

GUARDIAN SAFETY SEAT FROM SERENITY SAFETY PRODUCTS

     While we have long had the ability to safely package and transport adult patients, getting up to speed with the safe handling of our smaller customers has been much slower.

     Well, evolution just took a mighty leap with introduction of the Guardian Safety Seat from Serenity Safety Products. The first thing you realize when you look at this "4-in-1" seat is that it eliminates the need to carry separate seats for infants, toddlers and children, which in turn frees up more of that always-scant storage space in your rig.

     Using an impressive design that made me think of the movie Transformers, the Guardian Safety Seat starts as an adult seat that swivels 360° while locking in at 0 and 180°. Seamless construction using materials with antimicrobial characteristics makes for a tough, yet comfortable, easy-to-clean seat. When the need arises, the back section folds down into a toddler or child seat for children weighing from 23 to 85 lbs. A 5-point restraint system, adjustable straps and a soft cushion headrest provide both safety and comfort.

     Yet another Transformer moment, and an infant seat deploys for infants in the 5 to 22-lb. range. The Safe Interlock Bar ensures that the seat is only deployed in the correct rear-facing position at 45°. Once again, a 5-point restraint system, this time using a single pull of the adjustment strap, safely and comfortably secures your precious cargo. A disposable padded insert increases comfort, but allows for fast and easy clean-up.

     The folks at Serenity Safety Products put two years of thought, innovation and sweat into bringing the Guardian Safety Seat to market, and it shows. Incredible innovations, tremendous functionality and solid, top-quality construction combine to make the Guardian Safety Seat a top performer.

     For more: www.serenitysafetyproducts.com; 800/536-0676.

ACUSON P10 FROM SIEMENS ULTRASOUND

     When EMS first began in the United States, most of the tools of our trade came from one of four sources: the military, the space program, the funeral industry or hospitals. Little, if anything, we used was specifically made for the prehospital setting.

     Thank goodness, those days are long gone and, as evidenced by the hundreds of vendors at this year's EMS EXPO, we have many choices of tools made just for field use. Clearly, one of the most exciting and innovative choices this year comes from Siemens Ultrasound, with their ultra-small Acuson P10 ultrasound unit. Compared to their original ultrasound unit, which was roughly the size of a refrigerator and weighed in at over 500 lbs., the Acuson P10 hardly seems possible, yet it clearly is, at just slightly larger than a PDA and weighing only 1.6 lbs. No, that isn't a typo; it is 1.6 lbs.

     Drawing on over 150 years' experience in the field of medicine, Siemens has brought to market a device that has the potential to change triage and field medicine. The Acuson P10 is easy to set up and operate, with a high-visibility screen that quickly allows identification of cardiac tamponade, belly bleeds, pleural effusion, widened mediastinum and more.

     Not since the introduction of the stethoscope has a device come to the market that has the potential to change prehospital medicine as much as the Acuson P10. With on-demand ultrasound imaging available wherever and whenever you want it, our diagnostic capabilities improve markedly. And with the Siemens name on the Acuson P10, you know you are getting state-of-the-art technology from a top-quality company.

     For more: www.usa.siemens.com/pocketultrasound; 888/826-9702.

READY-HEAT INFANT-WARMING COCOON FROM TECHTRADE, LLC

     Without question, two of the greatest feelings in EMS are running a near-flawless resuscitation and delivering a baby. Actually saving a life and bringing a new life into the world are EMS moments that still take my breath away.

     On the topic of taking care of those new lives, let's look at the Ready-Heat Infant-Warming Cocoon from TechTrade, LLC, who've brought to market the first totally portable, heated, disposable blanket designed for critical-care infant transport. Given the minimal physiologic capabilities of a newborn, and even more so when you consider preemies, excessive heat loss after delivery can quickly result in potentially catastrophic results. Having a Ready-Heat Infant-Warming Cocoon at your disposal solves that problem before it becomes a problem.

     The blanket has a synthetic outer material with a water-resistant finish over a foam core and six customized heating panels, which are secured in separate sealed pockets. Once they're activated, you can feel the temperature start to quickly rise and the placement of the heat panels provides circumferential warming for hypothermia prevention and temperature management. The cocoon-like design provides optimal use of the heat being generated and limits heat loss to a minimum.

     The Ready-Heat Infant-Warming Cocoon is a real no-brainer to use, which is a great quality, given the chaos that often surrounds many field deliveries. Simply tear open the protective outer package, expose the Cocoon to air, and it will begin to heat up immediately, reaching full temperature in about 15 minutes. Get the baby wrapped up and mom squared away, and let Junior have a nice warm ride to the hospital with nary a worry about hypothermia.

     For more: www.techtradellc.com; 866/491-TECH.

CHILLCORE CASE FROM THOMAS EMS

     Building on its long-standing reputation for bringing innovative and top-quality products to the EMS marketplace, Thomas EMS is back in the top 20 once again, this time with its ChillCore therapeutic hypothermia induction case.

     Designed to facilitate therapeutic hypothermic induction in the prehospital setting, the ChillCore case will keep up to 2 liters of IV solutions at temperatures as low as 20°F, even in ambient temperatures as high as 120°F. The ChillCore is roomy enough to store fluids along with RSI and other medications that require refrigeration, providing additional cluck for your tight-budget bucks. A durable plastic case, available in three color choices for the fashion-minded, provides a rugged, field-tough protective container for ChillCore components. Under normal operating circumstances, the ChillCore uses a standard 12V vehicle power supply and automatically switches to a lithium polymer battery supply when it is removed from the vehicle, providing up to 1½ hours of out-of-vehicle use.

     An easy-to-read digital temperature display on the front of the ChillCore case allows for easy monitoring to assure precise temperature control. An LCD light illuminates the inside of the case in low-visibility situations. As an added plus, each ChillCore case comes with an insulated 1,000ml pressure infuser bag, which helps maintain solution temperature during the infusion process.

     If your system is looking into therapeutic hypothermia as a treatment option, take time to look at a tool that will help you deliver that care with minimal worry: the ChillCore Case from Thomas EMS.

     For more: www.thomasems.com; 800/445-3640.

TURLEY BACKBOARD PAD FROM TURLEY BACKBOARD PAD CO.

     To say the evolution of spinal care has occurred slowly is putting it kindly. Even in Egyptian hieroglyphics, we see artistic renditions of long spine boards. While we have developed improved strapping devices and strapping patterns, and better cervical immobilization technology, the long spine board remains just as uncomfortable as it was during the construction of the pyramids.

     Thank goodness, the lack of comfort may have finally been addressed, thanks to the Turley Backboard Pad. This is a multipurpose, reusable gel pad that can be used with any backboard, clam or Stokes basket. A non-skid surface helps keep the pad properly positioned as you secure your patient. The Turley Backboard Pad is filled with FDA-approved Blue Diamond Gel, and is both latex- and silicone-free. It has antimicrobial and antibacterial qualities to boot, along with being x-ray translucent—all desirable characteristics out in EMS land.

     In addition to providing excellent patient comfort, the Turley Backboard Pad provides other therapeutic benefits. The pad can be either heated or cooled, allowing you to keep trauma patients warm and cooling cardiac resuscitation patients. While all of the above-mentioned qualities make the Turley Backboard Pad a real innovation in spinal care, it really has excellent application for geriatric patients, as it alleviates the potential for the patient to be suspended on pressure points that can quickly turn into bedsores, further complicating their overall care.

     Take the next step in spinal care by checking out the Turley Backboard Pad. You'll be providing better comfort to your patients, with the capabilities to heat or cool them as the situation dictates.

     For more: www.turleybackboardpad.com; 877/460-3326.

WALL-MOUNT EMERGENCY BURN STATION FROM WATER-JEL

     There are few emergencies as time-intensive as a thermal burn. The longer the involved tissue remains heated and/or gets hotter, the deeper and more extensive the burn. Once this cascade of events begins, time is of the essence. It is important to note that EMS is not a factor at this point. In reality, what happens in the next minute or so on scene greatly impacts the stability and criticality of the patient EMS will encounter. As such, having the right patient-care equipment, supplies and materials readily available is a must if the patient is going to receive optimal prehospital care.

     Toward that goal, check out the Emergency Burn Station from Water-Jel, the experts in prehospital burn care. The Emergency Burn Station is an ideal product for areas where burns are a possibility, such as commercial kitchens, as well as industry and manufacturing concerns.

     The Emergency Burn Station is a high-visibility display that quickly mounts virtually anywhere with screws or double-faced tape. The large station comes with 6 dressings (from face to hand size), 10 unit doses of Burn Jel, a bottle of Burn Jel, a pair of scissors and two rolls of gauze. The smaller station comes with 4 dressings (2 each of 2" x 6" and 4" x 4") and 6 unit doses of Burn Jel. All products are fully visible, with easy access eliminating unnecessary delays in patient care. The Water-Jel dressings have a five-year shelf life, and all come dated for quality control. In addition, reorder information is behind each product so it can easily be replaced once used.

     If you have high-risk customers in your response district who do not have burn station capabilities, or the ones they have are lacking, take time to connect with their safety person to bring this information to their attention. In this case, you help them and they help you by providing immediate burn care to a victim who will soon be your patient.

     For more: www.water-jel.com; 800/275-3433.

     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' editorial advisory board.

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