EMS World

NOV 2018

EMS World Magazine is the most authoritative source in the world for clinical and educational material designed to improve the delivery of prehospital emergency medical care.

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SPONSORED CONTENT EMSWORLD.com | NOVEMBER 2018 47 From ambulance crashes to assaults to injuries moving patients to transmissible disease, EMS is a uniquely unsafe pro- fession. Those dangers and more have shortened the professional lifespans of too many talented caregivers. As the primary national advocacy group for providers, the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians fulfilled an invaluable role with the development of its EMS safety course (https://www.naemt.org/education/ems-safety), which covers essential aspects of protecting yourself and your patients on the job. The inter- active course is highlighted by real-life case studies and lively discus- sions of safety issues, including space to examine personal experiences. Critical-thinking stations help sharpen students' risk-assessment and decision-making skills. "No longer than a decade ago, EMS safety was more lip service or something on paper in case a governing body came in for an audit," says Michael Thomas, MHA, CPSO, CACO, CAC, NREMT, director of safety and risk management for West Virginia's Jan-Care Ambulance and an instructor of the course. "When I came into this position, I was told that that nothing is more important than the safety of our patients, our crews, and the community. That was my top priority! So when I need to stay up to date or do some quick research to carry out that mission, I use the tools provided by the NAEMT Safety course as well as their safety guide. These products are second to none." That guide is the National EMS Safety Council's Guide for Developing an EMS Agency Safety Program, a detailed primer for a comprehen- sive approach customizable to agencies' sizes and needs. It explores the roles and responsibilities of the EMS safety officer; facility safety and security; vehicle operator safety; scene safety; infection control; personal health and safety; and patient safety. NAEMT is part of the council and hosts the document on its site (http://www.naemt.org/ docs/default-source/ems-health-and-safety-documents/nemssc/ ems-safety-program-guide-10-11-17.pdf). "The Guide for Developing an EMS Agency Safety Program is an excel- lent method to completely understand what an EMS safety officer's roles and responsibilities are," says Thomas, who's also a member of the NAEMT National EMS Safety Workforce Committee. "I have a copy on my desk at all times for reference, and we've incorporated a portion of every chapter into Jan-Care's safety program." Visit www.naemt.org Circle 16 on the Product Information Card Safety Resources in an Unsafe Profession Easier Intraosseous Access Paul Beamon is part of the reason Georgia paramedics can perform intraosseous injections. Back in the early 2000s, he approached the board that governed the state's paramedic practice and asked for the capability, and the successful study that resulted led to IOs being added to Peach State medics' scope of practice. The challenge since has been finding the best tool to deliver them. Back then his service used a gun-type device with an automatic spring-loaded needle, but that could jam and cause recoil without the right technique. More recently at Atlanta- based Grady Health System, providers used a popular drill sys- tem and manual devices but had problems with cost and loss. Then his Bound Tree rep suggested NIO intraosseous devices from PerSys Medical. Superficially the NIO resembled that first gun-style system—but it came without its handicaps. "After reviewing the NIO and changes they'd made to it and using it a few times, I was sold," Beamon says. "I found it very comparable with other devices, but with greater ease of use. The problems I'd experienced with previous devices were not there with this one." The NIO is a small, light automatic intraosseous device designed for safe, quick, and easy vascular access without drills, batteries, or extra parts. Coming assembled and ready to use, it provides vascular access in as fast as 10 seconds. Bound Tree reps visited to deliver training, and providers mastered their technique in minutes. "Literally that day," Beamon says, "we had people using it and having success and feeling great about it. It actually changed people's minds from wanting to go back to [an alternative sys- tem] to wanting to just keep the NIO." That was this summer, and the positive reception has con- tinued through the ensuing quarter. "I've been very pleased with the use of the device—the success rate has been phenomenal," Beamon says. "It's just an all-around easy device to use, and I think patients benefit from it." Visit boundtree.com Circle 12 on the Product Information Card

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