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A Glimpse at Product Offerings at EMS Today: Part 2

The 2008 EMS Today conference in Baltimore last week introduced more new EMS products at one time, in one venue than I have ever seen before. From respiratory care products to innovative spine boards, many of these new offerings have the potential to provide EMS with some important new treatment options and therapies.

Photo by Dan White
The Monster Medic display booth
The biggest buzz came from the biggest display on the exhibit floor — the launch of Monster Medic and its new patient handling equipment. The company demonstrated its new feature-laden Powermed-X power cot, which includes functions that have never been seen before. To call it a stretcher isn’t quite fair; it is a radically advanced mobile treatment platform. For example, the cot is equipped with an automatic computer system that is capable of exporting data about your runs via USB port to your data system. The data management capabilities alone create new opportunities for fleet managers and agencies to better manage their equipment.

It will be interesting to see how the market will receive them. However, a good indication of success is the fact that the company president, Jamie Reed, literally grew up in this industry and is widely respected by many in it.

Aside from the launch of this new company, several other providers unveiled noteworthy and exciting new products at the conference. Here are some that caught my attention.

Photo by Dan White
A CPAP device by Airon Corporation
Respiratory Care Products

The new batch of respiratory care products made up a good portion of the more interesting products unveiled at EMS Today. Currently, the most rapidly growing EMS technology is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).

Airon Corporation demonstrated an interesting new CPAP device — a compact unit that has an integrated variable PEEP control and pressure manometer. This is a big improvement over other Downs Flow Generator style CPAP devices that use fixed pressure disposable PEEP valves. It also has a very inexpensive disposable component, a big plus in times of limited reimbursement. It delivers a continuous high flow, but can reduce FIO2 to help extended tank life.

Also big on the respiratory front: MCI ventilation devices. Allied Healthcare had a slew of new models and working prototypes on display. The company launched the new EPV100, a battery-controlled pneumatic ventilator that sells for under $450. That’s right, a real ventilator for 400 bucks. It won’t replace the workhorse AutoVent for frontline use, but for stockpiling and MCI preparedness, it’s hard to beat as long as you have a supply of compressed gas.

Hartwell Medical also showed off its new Surevent MCI kit with adjustable oxygen flowmeters. Adjustable flowmeters will enable improved control over individual patients who are being ventilated from a shared supply of oxygen.

Photo by Dan White
The EPV100

Photo by Dan White
SureVent MCI Kit

In my opinion, MCI preparedness is all about options. A ventilator with a built-in compressorthat runs

Photo by Dan White
An oxygen regulator by Flotec
off either AC or battery can still operate driving room air, even when you run out of compressed oxygen. That’s why they are preferred in most military field hospitals. Allied Healthcare has a ventilator with a compressor in development. Impact Instrumentation features its Uni-Vent® Model 73X and Pneupac offers the ComPAC Military Ventilator — which are both strong entries in this product field.

Flotec displayed a working prototype of an oxygen regulator with a built-in pulse oximeter. I’m afraid it could face some challenges due to the additional length of the regulator body. It definitely won’t fit in many existing oxygen bags, but it’s a quality product that certainly makes some sense. I expect to see this product further refined very soon.

Photo by Dan White
Rapid Deployment's RescuePad Spine Board
Orthopedic Products

Orthopedic product advancement received some special attention this year. Rapid Deployment launched its new RescuePad Spine Board at the Southeastern Emergency booth. This innovative spine board is padded in the middle, a long overdue design feature. I’ve always thought — and at least one published study has suggested — that many patients receive too many X-Rays due to pain from just laying on a board. It also has a nice built-in IV pole, which you just twist-lock into a receptacle on the board. The backside of the board is as smart as the front, with a reversed concave form that will aid in enhancing the board’s structural stability.

Photo by Dan White
Germa Vacuum Mattress
I was very excited to see the Germa Vacuum Products on display at the Ferno booth. These premium quality vacuum splints and long spine immobilization mattresses are manufactured in Sweden to exacting standards. Germa’s vacuum splints were the first ones sold in the U.S., originally imported by Bo Renberg, of “Bo Knows Vacuum” fame. He now manufactures the Bound Tree Medical private label vacuum mattress and splint line.

Photo by Dan White
The Guardian Pediatric Restraint from Serenity Safety
The quality of Germa products is simply superb. I’ve seen Germa splints in regular field use for over 20 years without failure. Germa also introduced its exciting new All-In-One II Vacuum Mattress, a combination “transport safe” and secure immobilization device and transfer stretcher.

They also demonstrated a new replacement stretcher mattress with an extremely simple but important new safety innovation. It has a horizontal slot cut across the top third of the mattress, which provides a way to pass the cot’s shoulder straps through the mattress and secure them tightly over the top of the patient’s shoulders. This is a simply brilliant design solution to the shoulder strap placement issue present in all existing ambulance stretchers. The mattress also features robust transfer handles and a special polymer-coated backside to make sliding the mattress easy.

Also new on the safety products side is a new child car seat that is actually built into the regular attendant seat. The Guardian Pediatric Restraint from Serenity Safety Products offers EMS agencies another valuable option to help make child transports safer, without sacrificing space or functionality.

Airway Products

Photo by Dan White
Cybertech Medical''s CRIC Kit
There were also some really interesting new airway products. Cybertech Medical introduced its new CRIC Kit. The main portion of the unit combines three key functions together: it first illuminates the target area, then provides a measured depth of incision, and follows with dilation of the airway tract with handy little pop-out dilator spreaders. All of these functions are provided with a 6mm Shiley Tube in a convenient kit. While sure to provoke some spirited dialog due to its reliance on a surgical technique, this radical innovation does offer a new twist on a battle-proven technique.

AllMed introduced the Trulite Disposable Laryngoscope from Truphatek. This super bright, LED disposable laryngoscope proved to be popular among many types of specialized responders. The company also launched its new AllMed Rescue Gloves and the new ANSI certified Hi-Viz Rescue Vest.

Photo by Dan White
Trulite Disposable Laryngoscope
Other Products

In the Taylor Health booth, retired medic Scott Neusch demonstrated his handy new Disposable Backboard Sleeve. The sleeve resembles a fitted sheet for your spine board with a built-in CID. How many times have you seen bloody backboards stacked outside a busy ER? This product offers an easy way to make an impact on this longstanding problem. Also new in the Taylor booth were custom imprinted fleece blankets at bargain prices.

Speaking of blankets, Life-Gear demonstrated their newly upgraded Comfort Zone Blanket Warmer. The latest version is constructed on a Hardigg Storm Case chassis. These latest improvements promise to enhance durability and deployment of this innovative product.

EMS Today has long been known as one of two annual events that always pulls in EMS professionals from around the world. Industry providers know that this is the place to see the latest EMS product innovations that will affect the field. It provides attendees a unique peek into tomorrow’s technology today.

Overall, it was a great show this year. Attendance was up and conference organizers allowed more time to see the exhibits and display booths. The great food in Baltimore is just icing on the cake.

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