Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Detect Brain Trauma on Scene

Each year nearly 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury.  These types of injuries generally occur during falls, sport accidents, vehicular accidents, or another type of jolt to the head.  In patients with head trauma early detection is one of the most critical aspects of the patient's final outcome.

This early detection makes the first responders instrumental in detecting brain injuries so that they can alert hospital staff upon arrival.  Obvious signs that brain injury may have occurred include an obvious wound to the head, bleeding from the nose or ears, change in consciousness, confusion, headache, loss of balance, unequal pupil size, and slurred speech.  However, these symptoms only alert first responders to the presence of brain trauma.  What if it were possible to detect just how serious a brain injury was in the field?

The Infrascanner Model 2000 from Infrascan makes brain injury detection in the field a reality.  The Infrascanner utilizes Near-Infrared technology to screen patients for intracranial bleeding.  In as little as 2-3 minutes, the scanner can detect hematomas greater than 3.5cc in volume up to 2.5cm deep in the brain tissue.  Although these quick scans are not a replacement for CT scans performed at hospitals, they do make it easier to identify high-risk patients ensuring that they are quickly transported to facility that will be able to properly treat their condition.

Infrascanners are light-weight, making them highly portable.  They can be powered utilizing either a rechargable NiMH battery pack or four AA batteries.  The unit turns on and off automatically by either attaching or removing disposable shields.

At this time, MedLogic is the exclusive dealer of Infrascanners in the US.

Friday, January 18, 2013

MCI Triage App

These days it seems like there is an app for everything.....probably because there is an app for just about everything.

Island Software has recently released the app MCI Triage for iPhone.  At only $5.99, this app is a must have for EMS paramedics, ambulance officers, figherfighters, law enforcement officers, and any other emergency services personnel that may need to respond to a mass-casualty incident.

In 1983 the staff at Hoag Hospital and Newport Beach Fire Department in California developed a system in which first responders could assess multiple patients in the field at a mass casualty incident (MCI) and easily pass that information on to the doctors who would need to treat these multiple patients as they arrive at the hospital.  They developed START (Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment).  START revolutionized the speed with which hospital staff could begin treatment of MCI patients, because it eliminated the need to re-triage patients when they arrived at the emergency room.

The MCI Triage app was built upon these same principles.  Utilizing simple prompts (such as breathing, normal respiration, ambulatory), the app will assist you in determining the patient's triage category (alpha, bravo, charlie or delta) and allows you to add identifying information about them including their age, gender and location.  This information can easily be updated, allowing first responders to make changes to a patient's status.

All of the information collected in MCI Triage can easily be shared with incident command, dispatch center for the EMS/Fire/Police, and the receiving medical facility via email.  The incident summary can also be sent via text message to one or multiple contacts.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Safe Realistic Bomb Squad Training

Combat Training Solutions (CTS) is a small business owned by a service-disabled veteran.  They specialize in military training and realistic battlefield effects; however, many of these training tools can also be utilized by police departments as well!  CTS specializes in non-pyrotechnic improvised explosive device (IED) simulators.

What makes these non-pyrotechnic simulators a must have for all bomb squad training?  It's quite simple.  Imagine a live bomb training scenario...that is completely safe.  The non-pyrotechnic simulators from CTS have realistic sounds and visual effects (they are working on a flash for the next generation of simulators).  When the simulator detonates, it "explodes" it emits a loud bang and disperses a non-toxic cloud of powder that very closely resembles what a real exploding bomb looks like.

Previous pyrotechnic training required the use of either dummy-devices or live-devices.  Training with dummy-devices is often not taken seriously, as there is no consequence for inadvertently triggering the device.  Live-devices are not used too often in training due to the inherent risks and dangers that are associated with the accidental detonation of the device.  Safety of officers usually trumps the option of training with live devices.  The non-pyrotechnic simulation devices from CTS give the real feel and consequences of training with a live device without the risks.  The only risk associated with CTS non-pyrotechnic simulation devices is that of hearing loss, as the devices "explode" at around 140 decibels.  However, this can easily be combated by utilizing protective gear such as earplugs.

CTS simulation devices are so safe that they even sell a suicide bomber training simulator vest.  The vest can be detonated without causing any harm to the individual wearing it.  The ability to be this up-close and personal with the training devices allows for those utilizing them to get hands-on experience and to develop muscle memory and improve their reflexes, both of which could save lives in the field.

Check out some of CTS's simulation devices in action in the following video: