5 EMS Game Changers
Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) rely on medical technology for many of their life-supporting services.
As medical technology advances, so do the quality and effectiveness of emergency medical services (EMS). Medical technology advancements improve on the skills and knowledge of an EMS team. Let’s take a look at the modern advancements in EMS technology that are proving to be game-changers in the field:
These little devices fit on the patient’s fingers and measure their SpO2. Easy to operate and non-invasive, the pulse oximetry provides an accurate measurement for oxygen within a patient’s hemoglobin based on the pulse. It became a more accurate measurement when the devices began to be paired with cardiac monitors, and the American Heart Association added SpO2 guidelines to their algorithms for ACLS. EMS teams should only give patients oxygen if their sat measurements were less than 90 percent. Other measurements provided by the device need to be below 94 percent.
Without accurate measurement of glucose levels, EMS teams were unable to provide proper medical treatment for patients who were dealing with high or low blood sugar. This proved to be dangerous for these patients. Enter the Glucometry. This device can now get blood glucose measurements faster than they could two decades ago. Blood is also analyzed hands-free.
One of the dangers that EMS teams face on a regular basis is getting stuck with a used needle. Before the invention of safety sharps, it would be all too easy to place a needle on the table after using it on a patient with AIDS or Hepatitis and forgetting that the needle was there until it pricked the EMT or Paramedic. Safety sharps prevent these accidents from happening by covering the needle.
Accurate measurements can mean the difference between life and death for a patient. The 12-lead EKG has reduced the mortality rate 24 to 32 percent, according to the American Heart Association, and hospitals can have the information on hand when the EKGs are conducted on the pre-hospital route. These devices help to save time…and lives.
This one might seem surprising. On their own, cell phones have nothing to do with the medical field. Cell phones are not medical devices, so why have they made this list? Mobile phones made communication faster. Then smartphones meant that knowledge would be at our fingertips. Cell phones mean that EMS teams can still communicate with each other and the hospital when they’re out of radio range. Communication is vital for emergency medical services teams.