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Minn. county EMS to place patient scales in all ambulances

Hennepin EMS is placing patient weight technology in all of its ambulances

By Bill Carey

HENNEPIN COUNTY, Minn. — Hennepin EMS will become the first ambulance service in the nation to equip its entire fleet of ambulances with a patient weighing system to assist with providing medications.

Deputy Chief of Operations Charlie Sloan said the Minnesota-based company Hinckley Medical asked Hennepin EMS to test a new technology called OneWeight, FOX9 reported.

Before they had access to the weighing system, EMS personnel did not have a good way to determine a patient’s weight.

“In the instance of where a patient is unconscious, they can’t obviously tell you what their weight is, and so you will be forced to guess,” Sloan said.

Sloan cited a study published in Prehospital Emergency Care, showing that more than 50 percent of EMS medical errors are due to incorrect weight estimation and cognitive errors.

Six of the department’s 39 ambulances have been equipped with the weighing technology. The remaining ambulances will be outfitted over the year.