How a specialized EMS kit can save a professional athlete’s life

It’s March 4, 1990, with 13:34 left in the first half of the basketball game. Loyola Marymount University player Hank Gathers suddenly collapses onto the court. He tries to get up, but slumps back to the floor. Despite efforts to revive him with a school defibrillator, he eventually dies at the hospital.

From his death, two years laterProSportsEMS was born. The sports paramedic program has since spread throughout the U.S. as a way to support local sports franchises and provides remarkable sophistication designed to train, support and equip athletic trainers for advanced first aid. Continue

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Ferno’s self-loading iN/X stretcher eases load on EMT’s

The iN/X is the first of its kind: a powered self-loading stretcher. Watching it being put through its paces at the Gathering of Eagles conference was astounding. Everyone in the room knew they were looking at the next big thing in EMS.  Continue 


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It’s Not About Philip Seymour Hoffman

It’s really not just about Philip Seymour Hoffman. It is about the over 38,000 people that die every year from the same condition. Drug addiction and alcoholism is a deadly disease. It takes countless lives. It destroys families and futures.

There has been a lot of talk lately about Philip Seymour Hoffman on social media. Unfortunately I’ve seen some pretty appalling posts by EMS providers.

Some say he deserved to die because he chose to inject drugs. Many use highly derogatory terms. I would like to counter with one sentence.

I’ve never seen a good caregiver who had contempt for patients.

Let’s keep in mind addiction is a disease. It’s a deadly and often terminal condition. Do we have contempt for cancer patients or diabetics? Then why would we show contempt for any other sick patient?

The only way we can is if we suffer under a delusion. That delusion is that people who drink too much or are addicted to drugs are bad people of weak moral character. That they have free will and made a conscious choice to die.

Actually they don’t. Once they start it is often nearly impossible for them to stop. This compulsion is hard for those not similarly afflicted to understand. It is however a hallmark of the disease.

Mr. Hoffman was for many years in recovery. He was an amazing and talented actor. Unfortunately he fell off the wagon and in only a few short years died. It is always sad when somebody dies long before his or her time.

Those who cannot accept that addiction is a disease deny accepted medical science. In doing so they also deny that treatment can be effective. Many hundreds of thousands of patients have turned their lives around. By accepting help they can arrest the disease and hold it at bay. Once they do many are some of the brightest and most talented among us.

No, they will never cure it. They cannot go back to using again without risking destruction and death. Once they do in only a short time they are usually right back where they started. That is what happened to Philip Seymour Hoffman

I just want my EMS brothers and sisters to understand that when you are dealing with a drunk in his cups you are dealing with a very sick person. It’s not cool to make fun of sick people.

Just like it’s not cool to load a narcotic OD up with Narcan and watch them suffer. Give them just enough to restore good respiration and stop. It’s not necessary to put them into withdrawals so you can show off.

EMS is no place for cruelty. It’s no place for contempt. It’s no place for those who deny science. If you can’t deliver every patient compassionate medical care maybe you should find a different line of work. You just might not have the head or heart for this one.

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Thrive in the Evolving World of EMS

What should the most engaged and politically active leaders in EMS know about mobile integrated healthcare? 

At EMS World’s special “MIH on the Hill” Summit: Policy and Payer Update, attendees of NAEMT’s EMS on the Hill Day can explore the payer’s perspective and learn how the Field EMS Bill (H.R. 809) can help further the mobile integrated healthcare mission.

This 5-hour program, scheduled for March 25 in Washington, D.C., includes lunch, individual and panel presentations, panel discussions and a facilitated town hall Q&A session.

The expert speakers are uniquely qualified to provide specific, actionable information on questions related to sustainable funding and revenue sources, and methods for measuring success and demonstrating value.  

Attend this exclusive event to:

  • Learn about the financial incentives driving the need for mobile integrated healthcare;
  • Gain insight into the perspective of healthcare payers and policy leaders;
  • Explore strategies to engage and collaborate with 
    healthcare payers;
  • Initiate dialog relating to potential standardization of
    MIH programs;
  • Foster understanding of how the Field EMS Bill facilitates the transition of EMS agencies into mobile integrated healthcare.

For more information or to register, 

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Are you ready to build a community paramedicine program?

At the Philips Education Theatre at EMS Today 2014 (February 5-8 in Washington, D.C.), you can hear firsthand how communities are building community paramedicine programs. Visit our website to see a schedule and plan your visit.

You can also learn more by watching a recorded webinar featuring David Glendenning, EMS Education Coordinator at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. In the one-hour webinar, entitled: “Hospital System and EMS Collaboration: Driving Population Health Management through Community Paramedic Programs,” Glendenning discusses how the community paramedic fits within the context of the Affordable Care Act, how to build partnerships, and how to fund a community paramedicine program.


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Pyng Announces New Products for EMS Today

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, Jan 29, 2014 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — Pyng Medical Corp.CA:PYT +27.27% , an award-winning developer of trauma and resuscitation products for emergency, combat and critical care personnel, announces it will launch two new products specifically designed for the emergency medical services market at the EMS Today Tradeshow taking place February 6-8, 2014 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Centre in Washington, DC. The new devices launching are: Continued

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First Field Use of SAM Junctional Tourniquet

WILSONVILLE, Ore., Jan. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — The SAM Junctional Tourniquet (SJT) has been successfully deployed in a field setting.  The use of the SJT on a soldier in Afghanistan was the first documented use of the product since its release.  The injury occurred to an approximately 20-year old male in the Afghan National Army. The soldier had a gunshot wound to his left groin 5-6 cm distal to the inguinal fold, slightly lateral to midline of the thigh.  The patient was treated on the scene with a cloth dressing and an extremity tourniquet directly over the entry wound; he was then transported to an aid station.

Upon arrival to the aid station, the tourniquet was removed to assess the wound, whereby brisk arterial bleeding occurred.  The wound was packed with gauze and pressure was applied. Due to the location of the wound, a decision was made by the onsite personnel to apply the SAM Junctional Tourniquet (SJT) over the left inguinal area just proximal to the entry wound to minimize further arterial blood flow to the leg.  It was difficult at that time to determine if the patient had a femur fracture by clinical assessment, but the SAM Junctional Tourniquet clearly immobilized the pelvis and hips after placement.

The on-scene medics reported that they had benefited from their time training on the SJT since acquiring them in early December.  In addition to the use of the SJT, the medics also used SAM Splints to stabilize the right leg of the patient and to minimize patient movement that could compromise the intraosseous (IO) infusion system; this splinting was aimed to protect the IO.

“We are pleased that our products have been used successfully to aid soldiers on the battlefield.  It’s always gratifying to hear that your product has been used to help someone,” said Will Fox, VP of Marketing and Business Development.  “It validates the effort put into creating and testing a new product before launching it to the field. We hope the SJT continues to be a useful tool for saving lives.”

The SJT has three purposes – controlling inguinal hemorrhage, controlling axilla hemorrhage, and stabilizing pelvic fractures. No other device currently available on the market offers this level of versatility for these three FDA-cleared indications.

About SAM Medical Products

SAM Medical Products is committed to bringing innovative solutions to market that meet the challenging needs of emergency medicine, the military, and hospitals around the world. The SAM Splint is the gold standard in flexible splinting products, and we take pride in creating quality products that raise the bar. Our product lines focus primarily on fracture management and wound care, and include the SAM Splint, SAM Pelvic Sling II, the SAM Chest Seal, SAM Soft Shell Splint, and the SAM Junctional Tourniquet. Headquartered in Wilsonville, OR, our products are distributed globally in over 60 countries. Find out more

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