The 2011 EMS World Expo took us back to Las Vegas where attendees could take a break from the desert heat to sit in on some great continuing education classes, while also experiencing one of the largest exhibit halls ever seen at the Expo. Read on to find my top 20 product picks and innovations from this year’s show.
Airtraq Wireless Display and Recorder from Airtraq LLC
In the world of EMS litigation, cases specific to airway complications seem to get more than their fair share of time in the courtroom. Logic would dictate the primary reason for this is that the larger and more complex the airway problem, the more likely a patient care catastrophe.
The Airtraq is one of the greatest airway management innovations to come along, in my opinion. Though it is a bit cumbersome to work with, especially at first, that smoothes out over time with continued practice and use. The Airtraq remains a must-have tool in your airway management toolbox as I see it.
Given the capabilities of the Airtraq, it stands to reason that there could and would be value in digitally memorializing intubations and, lo and behold, these capabilities now exist thanks to the introduction of the Airtraq Wireless Display and Recorder to the EMS market. Simply activate the turn on the recorder and your intubation is digitally stored on a standard SD card, with a 2 gig card holding approximately 250 events.
For all it actually provides—a digital record of an intubation that may be used for legal purposes, as part of a CQI process or for education and training—the Airtraq Wireless Display and Recorder is a commonsense idea brought to life in a simple, well thought out manner.
Along with the progression and evolution of EMS-specific tools has come a similar process with the vehicles that get us where we need to be. One of the most unique and incredibly functional modes of transportation currently available is the LifeGuard off-road beach and trail patrol/rescue vehicle.
The LifeGuard is a six-wheel, all-wheel drive, gas-powered vehicle built on the work-horse Polaris Ranger 6x6 chassis, which is capable of speeds up to 40 mph. Features include a roll bar for safety, a tread plate roof and Polaris factory-installed power steering. The aluminum bed features a canvas Bimini top to keep your patient out of the sun or inclement weather. You get a choice of configurations from a system to carry a full-sized gurney or a Stokes basket. Other options include either sand or off-road tires (with run-flat option), a deep-cycle battery system and even a generator.
The 80-inch front bench seat has a full seat back pad and easily accommodates up to three adults. Wide-view mirrors and ABS skirting come standard on the LifeGuard. The LifeGuard is a rugged, rock-solid-designed specialty vehicle that can get you where you need to be and get your patient out in a safe and timely manner. If your response district includes any remote areas where your full-size box will not go, my guess is the LifeGuard from ASAP will get you there. Take a few minutes and check one out. It’s an impressive specialty vehicle that can help you provide patient care in areas that don’t feature paved roads, concrete curbs and well-manicured lawns.
915 Triage Utility Tool from Benchmade Knife Company
My father was a country guy from down south and like many country folk, he was also a hunter. To support his hunting habit and feed the family, he worked as a cabinet maker. In both roles, as he told me on several occasions, a sharp knife is an essential tool. He carried a Case pocketknife that was sharpened daily and would take the hair off your arms.
While a knife is not required on a daily basis in EMS, its use would not be termed a rarity. When you do find the need for a knife, you want to make certain of two things: It’s a quality knife, and it’s sharp. The new 915 Utility tool from Benchmade meets both those needs.
The textured handle is made of a layered resin composite (available in black or orange) that is lightweight but incredibly durable. The blade is a sheepsfoot style for multiple applications and is constructed of high-grade N680 steel, which is both corrosion- and water-resistant. But the folks at Benchmade didn’t just stop by building a great knife; for the first time ever, they manufactured a multi-functional tool targeted at the EMS and fire markets. The 915 features a built-in seat belt hook that tucks away in the handle. Once in use, this hook cuts through a seat belt effortlessly. The carbide steel tip on the end of the handle allows you to take out safety glass.
If you are in the market for a top-quality cutting tool, look no further than the Benchmade 915 Utility tool. You get a beautiful, hand-built, U.S.-made knife that with minimal care will last your entire career.
When you look at a Crestline ambulance, you need to know you are looking at a vehicle from a company with 36 years of experience building top-quality ambulances.
With their new Sprinter ICON ambulance, Crestline has raised the bar in multiple areas. First, the Sprinter ICON features the Ferno Acetech vehicle performance monitoring and control system that provides real time monitoring of every facet of operational functions of the vehicle. Acetech combines the benefits of multi-plex, AVL and Eco-Run idle reduction systems all into one package. The ICON chassis is the new fuel efficient Mercedes 3500 equipped with the Electronic Stability Program.
There are many advanced ergonomic and safety features of the Sprinter ICON worth noting. The first thing you notice is that the bench seat inside the rig has been removed and replaced with a multi-position seat that locks into a forward-facing configuration, but features a sliding track system for improved patient access while remaining seated and belted for safety. Interior corners are round and padded, and interior storage doors slide open for safety.
The overall interior layout focuses on efficiency with easy access to equipment. A multi-drawer storage system is in easy reach, and there is a lockdown mechanism for the cardiac monitor. Exterior emergency lighting and interior cabinet and ceiling lights all utilize LEDs. The durable powder-coated exterior paint finish used on the Sprinter ICON significantly reduces the risk of corrosion problems. This allows Crestline to offer an industry exclusive lifetime paint warranty. If you are in the market for a new ambulance, you need to take a serious look at the Sprinter ICON. It is well-designed and well put together, just what you would expect from Crestline.
With gasoline prices on a never-ending spiral upward, EMS agencies running a fleet of two dozen rigs must openly weep when they get the monthly fuel bill. Practically speaking, it’s difficult to squeeze much fuel economy out of our vehicles, given their chassis and overall size.
A solution to a big part of the problem, i.e., idling time, is now available courtesy of Demers Ambulances. The company’s unique ECOSMART Anti-Idling System can provide an incredible 40% reduction in fuel consumption. Driven by the Demers Electrical Management/Multiplex System, it allows you to set the criteria at which a vehicle goes into anti-idling mode. Once the engine of the vehicle is turned off, all systems that were operational remain operational, as if the engine was still running, e.g., emergency lights/flashers and heating or cooling still operate. When the voltage drops to 12.5 volts or the temperature drops to 60ºF, the engine restarts and runs for a minimum of 10 minutes or until temperature or electrical conditions have returned to their desired state.
The Demers ECOSMART Electrical Management System can save an estimated $1,500 to $2,000 per vehicle per year. Remember that two-dozen rig scenario I painted earlier? That equates with an annual fuel savings of up to $48,000 per year! While the direct savings in fuel cost is impressive, you get other ancillary benefits as well, which include reduced engine hours—stretching time between service work and increasing the life expectancy of the engine, chassis and ambulance. Knowing this, how can any agency afford NOT to use the Demers ECOSMART Electrical Management System?
Armor X7 Rugged Mobile Solutions from DRS Technologies
If the Armor product line and DRS Technologies seem familiar, they should be—this product line has been in my Top 20 before. The folks at DRS Technologies have more than 25 years of experience developing military and industrial computer systems and tablets for the harshest, real-world working conditions and environments. And just when I thought they couldn’t take the Armor to new heights, they did just that.
The new Armor X7 is a literal powerhouse packed into a 7-inch tablet, designed to perform mission-critical tasks that require connectivity, handheld mobility, ease of use and the durability to support all-weather operations. The X7 is MIL-STD-810G certified and IP65 rated for durability and reliability to survive a laundry list of conditions that include dust, sand, glare, moisture, impact, vibration, extreme weather conditions and, last but not even close to least, up to a 6 foot drop! All this in an 2.85-pound tablet computer!
A magnesium frame and composite housing provide the backbone and shell for the X7. Twin hot-swappable lithium ion batteries provide the power to drive the Intel Atom N450 1.66 GHz hyper-threading processor for up to eight continuous hours. An integrated GOBI radio allows for wireless wide-area networks such as Sprint, Verizon or AT&T.
Depending on the level of security your operation requires, you get password security, support for encrypted drives, TPM security chip v.1.2, and a biometric fingerprint scanner. As for storage, you get 40 GB on the solid-state hard drive, with an option to get 80.
I could go on and on, but space limitations require that I don’t. Suffice to say, the Armor X7 is an outstanding product from front to back and top to bottom. More than anything, it is tough, and DRS Technologies worked hard to make it that way.
Improved Traction Device (ITD) from Emergency Products + Research
When economic times are hard, there are often limited funds to develop new products, so it just makes sense to take an existing product design and make it better. This is what happened at Emergency Products + Research with its Improved Traction Device (ITD).
The improvements start with the very backbone of the splint—the pole. The ITD is made of carbon fiber, which is more than 10 times stronger than aluminum. The ankle hitch has been improved, featuring contoured straps for patient comfort along with a detachable stirrup and pull ring, which greatly reduces the need to move the injured leg for splint application.
The groin strap now offers a gel pad for added patient comfort. The anchor for the traction device itself has been seriously beefed up, rendering it virtually indestructible, even under extreme weather conditions. Even the straps have been improved on the ITD, which features wide straps that are clearly labeled for proper location. The thigh and lower leg straps are kept loose initially so they can be slid through the void under the knee, resulting in less manipulation of the injured extremity and less discomfort to the patient. Of course strap improvements mean little if there is the possibility of buckle failure, but even that has been addressed, as the ITD features top-grade Nexus for its buckles.
Last but not least on the long list of improvements featured in the ITD, it is radiolucent, allowing it to remain in place while x-rays are being taken. Toss in a clamshell-style zippered pouch for easy storage, along with full pictorial instructions, and you are all set up and ready to splint.
Establishing vascular access quickly and efficiently is an integral part of patient care. Venipuncture is one of the most common invasive medical procedures performed in medicine, with an estimated 2.7 million attempted every day in the U.S. Because many of the locations where we practice our craft have little to no ambient light, IV starts get even harder. Adding to the challenge, we encounter the elderly, diabetics, pediatrics, bariatrics and people of color that each bring with them unique physical characteristics that can turn a simple IV stick into a dart tournament.
You may well be able to leave the pin cushion approach to IV starts behind and make it a one-time process with the AccuVein AV300 from Enerspect Medical Solutions. It is the first portable, non-contact vein illumination device that comes for our use out there in EMSland. Weighing a mere 10 ounces, the AccuVein fits in the palm or your hand, and features easy to use point-and-click technology, allowing the infrared technology to illuminate the hemoglobin in the bloodstream. There is no pre-use calibration or adjustments required, so you can use it immediately. Powered by lithium ion technology, it gives you two hours of continuous run time on a full charge. When you think about the limited time you actually need the device on during an IV start, Enerspect estimates that you can get up to 360 viewing procedures with a single charge.
The AccuVein fits in either hand and, because it is designed to be “no patient contact,” contamination problems are virtually eliminated. Last but not least, this incredible technology lets you see veins in real time, so they show up and remain visible even under bright lights or during patient movement. If your patch allows you to stick other people with sharp objects, you absolutely must check out the AccuVein AV300.
Go to any call, and once you determine you have a patient who speaks a language other than the one you and your partner speak, that call just got much more challenging.
Thanks to the folks at ESO Solutions, technology may be coming to your linguistic rescue. ESO QuickSpeak is a Windows-based application that currently works in the following languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Indian, French and German. An additional nine languages are in the developmental pipeline. QuickSpeak includes roughly 400 questions per language in more than 20 categories of assessment and treatment. For example, you can click on an English phrase such as “Do you have chest pain?” and the mobile tablet will play an audio file with the question translated into the patient’s native language.
Two obvious advantages to using ESO QuickSpeak include delivering improved services to non- English speakers, in addition to improved acquisition in both volume of information and time spent gathering it. Our country has always been a melting pot of cultures and that trend does not show any signs of letting up. The next time you encounter a non-English speaking patient, don’t do what many EMS providers usually do—yell at the patient in English—because that approach leaves you high and dry in information land. ESO QuickSpeak will help you get the information you need to make good decisions on behalf of your patient and will pave the way to better patient care.
HoverMatt Air Transfer System from HoverTech International
Over the course of my career, I have seen more provider injuries occur during patient moves than I care to remember. While some have occurred because of some unusual setting—e.g., automobile on its side—many have happened during what I would call routine moves. A big reason for this is that when it comes to routine moves, providers simply let their guard down and are not as focused as they should be.
A great addition to our patient toolbox is the HoverMatt Air Transfer System from HoverTech International, which features four sizes to choose from. All are 78 inches long with varying widths of 28", 34", 39" and 50." Each is constructed from nylon twill that is then heat sealed using RF welding on all seams. It is then coated with silica polyurethane on the patient side.
Once you turn on the air supply, the Hover Matt is fully inflated in less than five seconds. As air egresses out of the 3,200 holes on the bottom of the device, the HoverMatt reduces actual patient weight by 80%–90%. As that sounded too good to be true, I asked a fellow to help us out and he lay down on the device. We powered it up and, with just two fingers on each handle, I slid this close-to-200-pound lad across almost effortlessly. There is absolutely no lifting or straining involved whatsoever when using the HoverMatt Air Transfer system for lateral transfers or repositioning. Give your back a real gift that keeps on giving with this device.
While the world of EMS-specific products continues to grow and evolve, one particular product line has lagged behind—those focused on spinal motion restriction. The one big change that occurred in this area of practice was the move away from wooden spine boards to plastic, but that deal went down well over 10 years ago. Aside from that, it’s pretty much been business as usual, i.e., straps and backboards.
Well, it certainly wasn’t business as usual at The Intubate Mate Company. Working off the principle of the “hot dog in a bun” model, the Anaconda Flat is an injection-molded plastic backboard that uses a low-density polyethylene plastic that does, in fact, wrap you up very much like a hot dog. I had the folks in the booth put me in the Anaconda Flat, and once the four straps that hold the plastic wrap were in place, I felt remarkably secure. I had them roll me to the side as would be the case in an “I gottapukenow” scenario and there was very little side-to-side motion.
The Anaconda Flat is available in three sizes: pediatric, adult and bariatric. The wrap and strap elements are all removable for easy cleaning, and you get a custom carrying case for ease of storage with your purchase. The Anaconda Flat may look a bit strange at first, but once you are wrapped in one, you will feel the difference when compared to the traditional strap and long board design of days gone by.
One of the areas where simulators can really have a major impact is when an EMS provider can practice a technique or procedure such as childbirth that occurs infrequently in their regular environment. I don’t know if my personal history is a model, but I participated in five field deliveries over 20 years as a medic, and I know for sure that I didn’t get very comfortable performing that particular skill set. I mean, let’s be honest here, what kind of comfort zone can you develop when you deliver one baby every four years?
Thanks to Laerdal, you can practice delivering babies 50 times, if you wish, with the MamaNatalie birthing simulator. Make that 100 times, if you are really motivated!
The MamaNatalie simulator easily and quickly straps on to the instructor, who has manual control of both the rate and volume of bleeding along with the condition of the uterus to set the scenario being practiced. The instructor also controls dilations of the cervix, position and delivery of the baby, delivery of the placenta and heart sounds.
To accomplish all of this required some well conceived product development.
The uterus contains the placenta and the umbilical cord. Post-delivery contractions are controlled by the instructor. The placenta can be delivered or retained and you also have the option to have a prolapsed cord scenario. A large opening in the frame of MamaNatalie allows quick filling and refilling of the blood storage compartment, which contains 1.5 liters of blood. Other features include bladder catheterization, fetal heart tone monitoring, breech delivery and oxytocin administration. The MamaNatalie does all of this and more, and all at a tremendous value.
Single Use CPAP Device from O-TWO Medical Technologies Inc.
The inclusion of CPAP into prehospital medicine is one of the most beneficial interventions I’ve seen in the last 39 years. I know that when CPAP was instituted in my area for CHF and COPD patients in crisis, the intubation rate dropped 40%–70%! That type of singular shift in medicine is virtually unheard of.
With CPAP quickly becoming a mainstay in our EMS tool kits, it is only logical that this technology would continue to evolve. And evolve it did thanks to some really smart folks at O-TWO Medical Technologies. The result of their creative efforts is the Single Use CPAP Device, which is one first-rate product.
With this package, you get a disposable CPAP unit with three mask-sizing options (S-M-L), along with a remarkably effective neoprene harness to keep the mask properly positioned, even on super-sweaty craniums. The CPAP unit from O-TWO comes fully assembled, and is truly a very easy to use, plug-and-play operation. You just plug in the oxygen, turn it on and you are off to the races with patient care. Though it is oxygen-powered, the device is quite miserly with O2 consumption, as you get about 52 minutes of use at a CPAP setting of 5.0 cmH2O. Its unique open-air design is a safety feature that prevents possible port occlusion and the excessive pressure that could result secondary to that event. In addition, the Single Use CPAP system can support breathing treatments with in-line nebulization, and you get a choice of settings from 5 to 20 cm H2O, allowing you to titrate to the desired effect for your patient.
The Single Use CPAP device is the smallest and lightest on the market today and comes with all the innovation and quality workmanship you can expect from a respected company like O-TWO Medical Technologies.
The StyLite Illuminated Intubating Stylet from OmniGlow LLC
One of my favorite parts of the search for the top 20 products from EMS World EXPO is finding those products that feature solutions of elegant simplicity. The StyLite device from OmniGlow is one of those products.
The StyLite is a light-guided intubating stylet that is both sterile and disposable, which can be used inside an endotracheal tube during oral intubation. Once you have activated the device, the StyLite provides excellent illumination of the posterior pharynx, the various structures of the neck, as well as the vocal cords. The chemiluminescent solution utilized in the StyLite is non-toxic and comes sealed in a virgin plastic capsule that is then paired with a malleable rod enclosed in an elongated plastic sheath also constructed of virgin plastic. The tip of the StyLite, which houses the chemiluminescent device, is protected from accidental activation with a hard plastic cover.
To put the StyLite into service takes four easy steps. You remove the StyLite from the wrapper and then remove the black plastic cover from the tip. Next, you grasp the tip firmly and bend it until you feel a “snap.” Finally, you give the StyLite a couple of vigorous shakes to activate the light.
For those patients who have difficult airways because of structural anomalies, scarring or traumatic/bloody presentations, the StyLite light-guided intubating stylet is an extremely affordable, unbelievably reliable tool for airway management that may be all that you need to overcome a difficult airway situation and secure a definitive airway for your patient. Believe me, simple and elegant are the watchwords here. As I see it, no airway kit is truly complete without having a StyLite on board.
MOGS 100 Trailer from Oxygen Generating Systems Inc.
With the recent 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks comes the reality that the global war on terrorism grinds on with no foreseeable end in sight. When it comes to preparing for disaster response, be it a natural disaster, a terrorist event or otherwise, portability and scalability are key elements of any workable plan.
As part of a medical response plan, the ability to provide medical-grade oxygen to patients efficiently and continuously is a must, and thanks to the folks at Oxygen Generating Systems Inc., the solution is at hand with the MOGS 100 Trailer system for continuous oxygen supply for mobile oxygen emergency preparedness applications.
This system promotes self-sufficiency by eliminating the need and dependence on oxygen delivery, as the MOGS 100 Trailer system can be quickly transported to a disaster site and connected to either a local power supply or portable generator. Within five minutes of set-up, the FDA-approved MOGS 100 generates 93%–95% medical grade oxygen, which can either be delivered direct to patient beds or to fill high-pressure cylinders. If the choice is to store the oxygen, the output is impressive, as the MOGS 100 is capable of filling 10 “H” tanks every 24 hours, and this is all done automatically.
While the performance capability of the MOGS 100 is impressive, its safety design is even more so. The MOGS 100 continuously monitors the purity of the oxygen it is producing. If the purity drops below 90%, it shuts down and purges the system. It then restarts and again retests purity. If it’s not back up to the 93%–95% standard, it will shut down and purge the system again. This can be repeated up to three times before the system shuts down and sounds an audible alarm. Most impressive of all is that all you need is fresh air and a power supply and, five minutes later, you’ve got medical grade oxygen flowing.
In the world of emergency cardiac care, every passing minute increases morbidity and mortality for these challenging patients, especially those with evolving AMIs.
Early identification of STEMI patients in the field with a 12-lead ECG has become routine for ALS units but, until now, a BLS response team had no options. Those days are over with the introduction of the first ever dedicated 12-lead device for BLS responders.
This is a remarkably lightweight device (4.5 pounds including device, battery, cable and carrying case) featuring a highly visible backlit screen and a full keyboard for easy patient data entry. Thanks to lithium ion technology, you get up to eight hours of performance out of a single charge. When you open the carrying case, a reference graphic in the lid makes certain of accurate lead placement and the acquisition of a quality tracing. An integrated broadband cellular modem makes for easy data transfer downstream to a medical control physician or nurse for interpretation and, moments later, you are heading to the appropriate facility, where the hospital staff is making preparations to receive your patient.
All it takes is a simple three-step procedure and you are doing your part to shorten the time-to-treatment efforts: 1. Prepare the patient’s skin and place electrodes; 2. Push the 12-lead button to acquire the 12-lead; 3. Push XMT button and select hospital and the ECG is on its way, and so are you, to the destination where your patient’s needs can best be met.
As a real plus, the ReadyLink 12-lead ECG comes with an instructional DVD from none other than 12-lead cardiac guru Tim Phalen. Tim is without question a first-rate teacher who has the incredible gift of making complex medical subject matter learnable.
Pneupac paraPAC Plus Ventilator from Smiths Medical ASD, Inc.
As a very respected old dog EMSer once told me, “When the provider becomes the tool, you have a serious problem.” He said that specifically in regard to manually ventilating patients. To have a provider attempt to manually ventilate a patient for any appreciable length of time in the field is setting out on a path fraught with problems, all of which contribute to poor patient outcomes. Maintaining a tight mask seal, keeping proper anatomical position, not generating excessive ventilation pressures, not blowing CO2 levels too low, all while bouncing around in an ambulance, is a recipe for disaster. The bottom line remains today as it has for our entire existence in medicine: We perform the skill of manual ventilation too infrequently to truly master it.
With the paraPAC ventilator, you get the No. 1 pneumatic transport ventilator in the U.S., in no small part because it is a true workhorse product. Pneupac products have a reputation for rugged durability, ease of use and very reasonable pricing, all of which contribute to their widespread use in the hospital and military environments, as well as EMS and air medical. Given that, you might think the folks at Smiths Medical would be resting on their laurels, but you’d be seriously wrong. Folks with 25 years in the business just don’t think like that. As a result of their efforts, you get the new and improved paraPAC plus ventilator (launched outside the U.S. pending 510k clearance in the U.S.). It offers CPAP, O2 therapy and internal PEEP, yet weighs in 30% lighter than its predecessor. Oops, I almost forgot the illuminated manometer and the ability to switch to manual ventilator mode to meet the new CPR guidelines. Last but not least, the paraPAC plus ventilator comes with airworthiness certification and is MRI compatible up to 3 Tesla.
The paraPAC plus ventilator is a real world product from a rock solid company. Check one out today.
For most human patient simulators, latex remains the material of choice for the external “skin” of the manikins themselves. It’s a reasonably tough material, and relatively easy to clean, but when you touch one there is no doubt in your mind that you are not touching a human being, you are touching latex. That’s just a serious drawback, not a deal breaker for latex manikins.
When you have the availability of human cadavers, unless they are fresh, they often store so poorly as to make the “learn the anatomy” goal harder to come by.
Well, you can welcome a whole new era of anatomy instruction with the Synthetic Human from Syndaver Labs. Made of salt water and fiber, the Synthetic Human has already been awarded six patents, with 27 more in process. That certainly doesn’t surprise me, given the incredible reality of this anatomical model. It comes with a complete skin with the fat and fascia planes, every bone, muscle, tendon and ligament. You get a functioning respiratory system, a complete digestive tract, the complete circulatory system and all the visceral organs.
With the Synthetic Human, you get a storage container with recirculating filter pump, wheeled stainless steel procedure cart, and heated heart pump with separate venous and arterial circuits, and all required plumbing. All of the muscles, bones, organs and vascular components are separately removable for teaching purposes, while making servicing or upgrades a snap to perform, virtually eliminating manikin downtime.
The Synthetic Human comes in both male and female with three sizes—infant, small adult and obese. You also get an amazing array of choices, depending on your instructional need, from purchasing bones and muscles to organs to body systems. All I can say is you absolutely must see and touch the Synthetic Human from Syndaver labs. It’s off the scale.
Teleflex ISIS HVT Convertible Endotracheal Tube from Teleflex Medical
On the short list of products that haven’t changed much, the endotracheal tube might well top the list. Occasional tweaks occur, but for the most part an ET tube is and remains an ET tube. That being said, this statement really doesn’t apply to the ISIS HVT Convertible Endotracheal Tube from Teleflex Medical. The folks at Teleflex focused their efforts on the problem of adherence to best practices for reducing ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP). VAP is a hospital-acquired pneumonia that typically develops more than 48 hours after intubation. VAP represents the most common infection acquired by both adults and children in the ICU, resulting in an increase in morbidity and mortality, along with increased use of healthcare resources and a corresponding increase in overall costs.
How VAP typically gets a foothold is pretty straightforward. During mechanical ventilation, secretions from the upper respiratory tract accumulate above the cuff on the endotracheal tube. Studies have shown that these secretions can seep past the cuff into the lower airways, causing pneumonia.
The ISIS HVT Convertible Endotracheal tube has an integrated suction port that allows use of the same endotracheal tube for all patients. If a patient ends up needing long-term intubation, the separate suction line can be attached. This is a very focused patient care product with the ultimate goal of increasing access to subglottic secretion removal, which has been shown to help reduce the frequency of VAP. The ISIS HVT is available in multiple sizes, starting at 6.0mm and moving in half sizes up to a 9.0. When suction is not in use, special caps seal the suction line. It also features a thin-wall, high-volume, low-pressure tapered cuff that helps reduce pressure on the tracheal walls.
I must admit that I found it personally satisfying to see two different patient care transfer devices make it into the Top 20 this year because it tells me that our industry is getting serious about trying to reduce unnecessary back injuries that occur secondary to patient care transfers/moves.
The Sally Tube is another outstanding example of elegant simplicity as a problem-solving model with common sense built in. First off, the Sally Tube comes in one basic size, but that is a generous 58" x 48," which will move the vast majority of your patients. That being said, custom sizes are available upon request. Second, the Sally Tube gets really small when folded up, so it’s easy to store and can stay with a patient throughout their hospital stay, being immediately accessible for any pivot or repositioning move or lateral transfer.
Built of 100% recyclable materials, the Sally Tube has heat-sealed edges for extra strength and infection control. While thin to the feel, the Sally Tube has a weight capacity of a remarkable 794 pounds! Of course I had to see the Sally Tube in action, so I snagged a volunteer conference attendee who looked to be a solid 175 and got him to hop up on the device. It took only the slightest pull to get the guy moving and, as the Sally Tube rolls over itself, it is almost effortless. You actually have to pay attention to make sure your patient does not move too far.
This is a disposable single-patient device, which eliminates the hassle and cost of laundering. It is also remarkably affordable to the point of using it on every patient. If you make that choice, you can get an optional dispenser for convenient access.