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As the role and practices of EMS providers have evolved, so has their environment. We have seen breakthrough advances in areas from the development of portable medical devices and ambulance construction to the widespread adoption of safety standards and regulations.
SAE International stands out for its development and organization of standards for vehicles such as ambulances. It recommends nine testing standards for ambulances in North America, including SAE J3043 for ambulance equipment mounting systems.
Released in 2014, this standard paved the way for mounting systems designed to secure the increasing amount of medical devices first responders transport. Crucial to the safety of everyone in the patient care compartment, SAE J3043-certified mounting systems play a vital role in ensuring medical devices remain secure in case of sudden directional changes or collisions.
In recent years there has been a trend of EMS providers opting for SAE-certified mounting systems for their equipment, as opposed to traditional methods such as straps or clamps to hold things like defibrillators, monitors, ventilators, and pumps. Now, as more of the EMS community recognizes the value of medical device mounting systems, they have become the standard for safety in emergency vehicles.
Safer Environment, More Space
As EMS organizations have become increasingly specialized, the number of medical devices they must have on hand at all times has also risen. Keeping industry safety standards in mind, how can they transport large volumes of medical equipment safely? Through the implementation of scalable and flexible mounting systems, EMS providers can maximize space in the ambulance while creating a safer environment for themselves and their patients.
The proper mounting system should make it easier and safer for providers to work while providing patient care. When purchasing a system, here are some things to look for:
SAE J3043 certification by an independent third-party organization;
Universal solution that transfers between stretchers, counters and walls in vehicles;
Low-profile design that does not interfere with device components and features;
Ergonomic and lightweight for easy handling during transport;
Resistance to fluids and quaternary-type disinfectants for sterilization.
A System That Evolves
Besides using certified mounting systems, EMS organizations need to have one that follows their operational needs, providing more flexibility while reducing device manipulation and potential left-behind equipment. Depending on the protocols within an EMS organization, the configuration needs for mounting systems in the patient compartment can vary widely. While the installation of a mounting system on a counter might be the best solution for some, others may not wish to sacrifice workspace and prefer to install it on a stretcher or ambulance walls.
By choosing a highly flexible and scalable solution that can evolve to meet the growing operational needs of an EMS organization, EMS providers will not need to compromise between configuration and safety. Mounting systems designed with respect for how EMS providers use their medical devices can enhance their efficiency during care and free them to focus on what matters most: patient safety.
Carl Bouchard is founder and CEO of Technimount System.