Innovative products on display at EMS Today

New spine boards, medical manikins among new wares at tradeshow

By Dan White

The exhibit floor at EMS Today this year was filled with excitement. Many exhibits set a whole new standard of professionalism in their standards for booth presentation. There has been a clear and quickly evolving trend towards offering educational content in the hall. Much more than thinly veiled sales pitches, most were really interesting and involving programs with some very talented instructors.

Physio-Control had live speakers to back up their theme of the company's long-standing partnership with EMS.

Photos Dan White
A Physio-Control class

Physio-Control recently resumed shipments on AED's. This will hopefully bring an end to any further compromises in their ability to execute on their commitment of excellence in service to EMS.

My second defibrillator was the Lifepak 4. I lost one out the side door of a Cadillac at 50mph once. We turned around and picked it up off the curb, and then had it still work flawlessly afterwards. They have always set a benchmark for field durability and service. Getting back into full production was great news for them to announce as well as support with an exciting classroom section in their massive exhibit area.

Bound Tree Medical also sponsored live narrated simulations throughout the event. Mark Vedder of Northeastern Ohio did a simply amazing job of narrating live-action scenarios. The scenarios were performed by medics Stan and Angie Hoptry of Central Ohio EMS Training in Lucas, Ohio.

As they snapped through several complicated real-time drills with all the very latest in EMS technology, Mark explained to the big crowds what they were doing, what everything was, what it did, and even who made it.

There were other new education enhancements. Simulation is all the rage right now. Not just manikins, today's life-like training simulators afford a much wider range of potential training applications. This provides a much better and more realistic training experience for skill development and retention. To me, this all mean a higher quality of education.

I really liked the Laerdal Megacode Kid. When I was trained there were only adult and infant mannequins. We never had the opportunity to practice skills for the pediatric patients. MegaCode Kid is a realistic manikin for training on a wide range of pediatric advanced lifesaving skills in pre-hospital emergencies. It has a realistic airway, 1400+ ECGs rhythms, defibrillation and pacing capabilities, and allows drug administration and intraosseous infusion to teach emergency skills.

But I also liked other cost-effective but more modestly priced training enhancements. One of the best I've seen lately is the Laerdal Resusci Anne Airway Trainer Upgrade Kit. It permits you to upgrade many existing Laerdal CPR manikins to include vital airway training very inexpensively.

The Airway Trainer Upgrade Kit has an accurate airway allows for realistic practice of basic and intermediate airway interventions with various airway adjuncts on an accurate anatomy. You can teach oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal airway insertion, Bag-Valve-Mask, LMA, Combitube or Easytube use. This dramatically yet affordable option expands the capability of something already in wide use, the proven Resusci Anne. Unfortunately, it is not an intubation trainer too. But for many programs already teaching intermediate rescue airways, it should be awesome.

Stryker had two incredible new developments at EMS Today. One of these was a new take on a very old idea.

The Stryker Speed-Sheet

The Stryker Speed-Sheet looks and sort of feels like, a long yellow garbage bag on the cot you leave ready to use as a draw sheet.

When you tear off the pre-perforated bottom, through some amazing and magical chemical transformation - it suddenly becomes hyper slick. You can pull the patient over with a greatly reduced amount of force and with reduced resistance. You have to feel it work for yourself to believe it. It's like a magic carpet, particularly when you have limited physical resources at hand to help on a difficult patient.

They also demonstrated the game changing new Power-LOAD cot fastener system. The Power-LOAD is a combination load assist system and a cot fastener system. It pulls the stretcher into the ambulance and secures it safely in position. It's important not to minimize the enormous potential significance of this system. It holds the promise of dramatically reducing injuries to providers and patients alike. It solves several of the most risky

challenges of patient handling. One example is that it eliminates the need to steer the cot into position. For more information, call 1-800-787-9537. Now if I can keep my buddies from trying to rig a Clapper up to it.

One of the other hot electronics technologies that I saw at EMS Today this year was the AmbuTRAK Inventory Management System. It's a web-based inventory and bar-code scanner technology system that provides even small and medium sized EMS operations powerful new tools. I can see how it would easily save both time and money. AmbuTRAK allows you to track fixed assets accurately and provides enormous peace of mind. It even tracks expiration dates and lets you reorder supplies in less than one minute. For more information call 1-877-217-3707.

R&B Fabrications was demonstrating an advanced prototype of a cool float collar for a standard plastic backboard. It could make handling of water rescue patients inherently safer. If you do a lot of water rescue work, backboards that float could become a fast egress option of immediate resort. Keep your eyes out for more soon, I hope, on this interesting product. To learn more call 1-800-553-1911.

The S-Cut Swedish Cutter is a premium grade European-engineered cutting instrument, with an innovative circular blade.

It just cuts and cuts, with a safe and secure recessed blade that can make short work of even the heaviest fabrics. The rotating numbered dial allows you to easily rotate to a fresh cutting edge with a twist on the dial.

The S-Cut Swedish Cutter

A rotary blade is many times more useful than any straight edge blade can possibly be. When you are finally done with the circular blade, you can easily replace it with a fresh one.  

If I did racecar track work, or was on a light rescue unit serving a major high speed interstate, the S-Cut might be on my short list of new basic essentials. It is a high-performance, rugged hand tool with serious cutting power. For more, contact them at 702-804-0021.

Clinical Clean is an innovative company in the Northeast TriState area that provides a low cost solution to daily sanitizing for EMS Agencies. The Spray'n Go is a portable decontamination unit with wheels you keep in the garage. The Spray'n Go applies a micro-mist of an alcohol-based decontaminant combined with a Four Chain Quat for instant kill and residual effect. You can apply it virtually anywhere without damage or residue.

Touch the surface afterwards and in seconds nothing is wet. You use a wand type applicator for complete directional control. It's perfect for all those tough spots on the stretcher, action shelf recesses, interior compartments and bench seats. It's also built like a tank. To learn more call 631-242-7227

The Hospira Gemstar is a compact and durably constructed IV Pump. It was originally engineered for home use, so it already has many similar design objectives to any good EMS pump. It weighs barely more than one pound.

The battery will last for 8 hours, and the internal 400-event memory log is protected. It will infuse at rates from 0.1 ml/hour to 9999.9 ml/hour. You can even use regular AA batteries in a pinch. To get a closer look contact Hospira at 1-877-946-7747.

The Athena GTX Wireless Vital Signs Monitor is pretty amazing too.

Clinical Clean's Spray 'n Go

The tiny little BP cuff mounted monitor measures 5.4"x4"x2.6" and monitors NIBP, SpO2, 3-Lead ECG, and features Windows compatible 802.11 Wireless. It can be used with almost any standard existing cuff, which by itself is pretty amazing. Up to 250 WVSM units can be simultaneously connected and monitored.

You can monitor a local network of clinically manageable proportions using a hand-held PDA. For more information contact Athena GTX at 515-288-3360. It appears this product is still under development and not ready for sale at this time.

SSCOR continued with its national roll-out of the S-3 Oropharyngeal Evacuation Tool. This innovation replacement for the primitive Yankauer does three things in one device. It works as a suction yankauer, it works as a scoop, and it works as a sump. Check out the back story and video, or call 800-434-5211.

This year's EMS Today was an exciting event. I even got a chance to go eat at my local favorite Mo's Fisherman's Wharf Restaurant & Mini Market. They have a crab cakes so colossal you can't quite finish two of them. But Baltimore is always like that, with so much to do and see and eat you can never quite stuff it all in. EMT Today in Baltimore was alive and healthy, and I for one can't wait to see what will be in store next year. This year took me a bit by surprise, in the best way possible. I saw several hot new products that are ready right now, and got a look at a few of the near future.

About the author

Dan White, EMT-P works for Intersurgical, Inc. as the National Account Manager for EMS. Immediately prior he ran Arasan, LLC. He served as Sales & Marketing Director for Truphatek, Inc. and before that Director of Corporate Planning & Product Development for AllMed. He has been certified as a paramedic since 1978 and an EMS and ACLS instructor since 1981. Dan has designed many emergency medical products since his first, the White Pulmonary Resuscitator, including the Prolite Speedboad, Cook Needle Decompression Kit and RapTag Triage System. His more recent EMS product designs are the Arasan Ultra EMS Coat and the B2 Paramedic Helmet.

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