If you have ever watched television documentaries on the work of the emergency services, you will have seen paramedics and technicians use a wide range of medical equipment to treat patients who have serious and life-threatening conditions. Advances in medical technology have given pre-hospital emergency staff the equipment, which along with comprehensive training, can make the difference between life and death for a patient. In this article, three pieces of pre-hospital emergency medical equipment will be described and the benefits that they can give to patients.
The Automatic External defibrillator (AED)
An automatic external defibrillation device is one of the most important pieces of kit in any paramedic or medical technician’s medical bag. It works by delivering an electrical current through pads that are placed on the chest of a patient who is in cardiac arrest. The aim of “shocking” the patient is to stop the heart beating in an irregular pattern and to give the body an opportunity to allow a normal heartbeat to resume. An AED can only be used when the heart is showing a shockable rhythm, which can be monitored by the defibrillator. Today public AEDs are located in many shopping centers and busy pedestrian areas and are available to buy commercially from companies such as medical-supermarket.com. The rise in public AEDs that are simple to use by untrained members of the public is an integral part of pre-hospital care, especially if they are used effectively by fast-acting citizens before emergency resources can arrive on the scene.
Portable suction units
When a patient is critically ill after a traumatic cardiac arrest or as a result of choking, paramedics and technicians will use portable suction units on the patient. These work to suction out fluids and secretions from the patients’ airways so that breathing can take place effectively. These units have a container for the bodily fluids and secretions that are taken from the patients’ airways. The portable suction unit is another vital piece of pre-hospital emergency technology and can be used to effectively stabilize a patient when fluids are obstructing the airways and preventing effective breathing.
There are numerous ways the human body can receive traumatic injuries, and paramedics encounter these situations frequently in their work. An elderly patient can fall down a flight of stairs, horse riders can be thrown from their horses, and a variety of traffic accidents can lead to emergency crews utilizing this important piece of kit. The spinal board is designed to minimize the movement of the patient after traumatic injuries are sustained and isolate spinal movement especially. If severe damage occurs to the patients’ spinal column, they will be at risk of paralysis and other life-changing injuries. Spinal boards commonly come with padded “blocks” that also serve to immobilize and protect the patient’s neck.
Here are three of the most important commonly used items of medical equipment that pre-hospital care emergency staff will use on a regular basis. These devices are integral to stabilizing and treating the most seriously ill emergency patients and can play a key role in giving the patient the best chances of a full recovery.