Top 10 new EMS products of 2014
From new stair chairs to a bag that lights up, EMS Today showcased a range of exciting new products
By Dan White
Touring the exhibits at February’s EMS Today conference in Washington D.C., I was impressed by the quality of the education sessions, the combination of EMS clinicians, administrators and educators in the hall, and some great new EMS products — many of which were introduced for the very first time.
Here are some of my favorites:
1. MERET’s very cool new MODQUAD PRO customizable bag system is a platform for mounting a number of different specialty kits on a central panel with a handle. It lets you build your own bag by mixing and matching up to four TS Ready modules to create either a special purpose or general purpose first-in shoulder bag or briefcase.
You can build it in either a BLS or ALS configuration. It is incredibly versatile, compact, lightweight and fast into action.
2. I picked up a personal bag I’ve since fallen in love with: the MERET Dropsling Pro Sport. It’s a small teardrop-shaped cross body bag that has become my favorite day bag – just big enough for my camera, light jacket, snacks and a few personal items. It’s the perfect camera bag for the guy that doesn’t want to look like a tourist.
You can also flip it around and wear it on your belly for safe, immediate access to your belongings when on a boat or in a vehicle. For the busy medic who carries less personal stuff with every passing year, it’s just the right size and doesn’t take up much floor space. It would also make a great special events or sports medicine kit.
3. Speaking of new bags, Iron Duck was showing off its latest innovation: a bag with built-in LED lights. The new concept for the Ultra Sof Box Plus is something I’m kicking myself for not thinking of first. Lights on the outside in the bottom rails make you more visible on scene, and lights inside make it easier to find what you’re looking for. It’s a brilliant feature for an EMS case.
Moving made easy
4. Binder Lift introduced a new fluid-resistant version of their product called the Ultra-V. The Binder Lift puts handles on your patient, and uses coated fabrics and super-strong webbing to make it easy to clean. It quickly fits around the torso and under the arms, and is padded around the top edge to allow you to easily move people, especially out of tight spaces.
It’s ideal for a simple lift assist call, tricky bathroom extrications or getting somebody out of the back bedroom of a single-wide trailer. Once you get them on the cot you can leave it in place to make it easier to do the bed transfer at the hospital. Available in two sizes, with one up to 84 inches, it’s also perfect for your oversized patients. It will probably help prevent injuries as well.
5. Quantum EMS introduced two new stair chairs to EMS. One, the Swiftlite Q-110, is one of the lightest and least expensive folding tracked stair chairs. It handles up to 400 pounds and can be operated by one person in an emergency evacuation.
6. The other, the Swiftlight Q-120, is built like a steel tank with intuitive controls and ergonomic handles. Yes, it is a little heavier and more expensive, but it is clearly designed to last for years under hard use. The engineering is elegant simplicity and the materials of construction are second to none.
I also heard a solid rumor about a game-changing new stretcher coming out this year from Ferno. I’ll write about it separately when they launch. For now, let’s just say it will have some unique capabilities.
Simulation and technology
7. The S.E.T.S, introduced by S&S Medical Products, is a compact and rugged auto extrication simulator capable of an endless array of scenarios. You can use it right side up, on its side or upside down. It even has replaceable seat belts and tempered glass. It’s a fabulous EMS training tool that brings the car into the classroom, and then wheels conveniently into the corner when you are done.
8. UE Medical Devices introduced the UEScope its new hand-held video laryngoscope that combines some of the best features from earlier devices. The screen folds sideways for more convenient storage, and it uses disposable blades very similar to the McGrath Mac EMS. The blades come in three sizes and its handling will be familiar to anyone who has used a Glidescope or Storz VL.
9. I saw a prototype of an exciting new EMS product in development: the IO KeepSafe, a clever device for securing an I.O. line. It consists of a protective frame and securement strap with a snap-on clip for holding the needle hub. It is fast and easy to use, while providing better retention.
Dress to impress
10. Gerber Outerwear launched their new Sigma Soft Shell fleece jacket. Gerber is going to an interchangeable liner system, which means some Gerber coat owners can zip in the Sigma jacket as an optional cold weather liner. During the spring and fall you can wear the liner alone, and in some areas it may be all you ever need. It’s wind resistant, warm and comfortable, while providing high-visibility with quality and style.