EMS TODAY 2010 Baltimore

The exhibit floor at EMS Today this year was filled with excitement. Many exhibits set a whole new standard of professionalism in their standard of 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 stunningly talented instructors.

Physio-Control had live speakers to back up their theme of the company’s long-standing partnership with EMS. Physio-Control recently resumed shipments on AED’s. 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.

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. It was all really very cool.

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. 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 life saving skills in pre-hospital emergencies.

One of the best training enhancements 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 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.

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

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 to dramatically reduce injuries to both 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.

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.

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.

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.

Clinical Clean is an innovative company in the Northeast TriState area that provides a low cost solution to daily sanitizing for EMS Agencies. The new 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.

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. 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. When I
checked to verify their website was down, so 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.

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 Dan White

I'm a retired Paramedic and EMS Instructor with 35 years EMS and emergency medical product experience. I love canoes, cars and EMS. I have written a lot about EMS Technology on the Paramedic Blog, the Insights on Innovation column for EMS1.com, on AmbulanceWorld.com and Multibriefs.com. I can be reached directly at 573-240-0002.
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