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Fla. county ambulances now carrying pediatric TBI kits

The kits contain medications to help Polk County Fire Rescue EMS prevent seizures and reduce brain swelling

By Bill Carey

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Time is critical when assessing pediatric brain injuries, and Polk County’s first responders are now equipped with a crucial lifesaving instrument.

The techniques generally used in hospitals to treat traumatic brain injury (TBI) are now accessible to first responders through a TBI kit, Fox 13 reported.

 "It’s like a heart attack or a stroke. We start treating these in the field. Why shouldn’t we start treating our children in the field?” Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children Pediatric Surgeon, Dr. Donald Plumley, said.

The kit contains life-saving medications that prevent seizures and reduce brain swelling. Through a partnership between Tampa General Hospital and Arnold Palmer, Polk County EMS now has one kit equipped in each ambulance.

“Our crews have been well trained on this with Arnold Palmer and Tampa General about administering the medications,” Polk County Fire Rescue Medical Director, Dr. Paul Banerjee, told ABC Action News.

Polk County Fire Rescue has seen 20 cases of TBI among children in the last 2 years from falls, bicycle or vehicle accidents.