Product Reviews From Street Crews
Hands On May 2011
5.11 Tactical Water Repellent 1/4 Zip Job Shirt
|The “job shirt” has become a uniform staple in many systems during periods of chilly weather when you just need a little something extra to keep you warm. One problem is that most job shirts are made of plain cotton fleece, which does little to protect you from the wind or light rain. The new Water Repellent 1/4 Zip Job Shirt from 5.11 Tactical uses a unique fabric called “storm,” developed by Cotton Inc., that will keep you warm and dry in wind and rain. The shirt also includes many popular 5.11 features: fade, shrink and wrinkle-resistant fabric, radio chest pockets, microphone clips and pen pockets.
Emegear X-Collar Plus
|If you’ve been in EMS for more than a few weeks, you’ve probably placed a C-collar on someone you didn’t think needed it. Or you placed one that didn’t fit as well as you’d like. Studies have been published on the efficacy of C-collars and the potential damage done by one that was improperly applied (read “Calif. Highway Patrol Officer Saves Patient” at www.jems.com/article/california-highway-patrol-offi). So it’s extremely important for EMS crews to use a device that properly immobilizes the C-spine without displacement. The new X-Collar Plus from Emegear refines the design of the original X-Collar and now fits a broader range of patient neck sizes while maintaining the neutral position in symmetry or in the position of patient comfort. The X-Collar Plus has 28 vertical positions with a 3.25" range of adjustment and custom side-to-side adjustability with a 5.5" circumferential range.
Weight: 9.6 oz.
Tested Weight Range: 30–350 lbs.
Colors: Clear, high-visibility orange
ESSC Inc. MedixSafe
|Security for narcotics, alerting us to missing narcotics; identification of fluid substituted in place of medications; and improper documentation are all big concerns for EMS managers and providers. The MedixSafe from ESSC Inc. provides a number of heavy-gauge steel. The safes feature an electronic locking mechanism that uses unique access identifiers to log who opened the safe and when. Three different models can be configured for pin number access, HID magnetic swipe cards or a fingerprint reader. You can easily download the access time and subject data to a computer via a direct wire connection, or you can wirelessly transmit data through a mobile gateway or WAN connection. All units are field programmable for an unlimited number of users.
Exterior Dimensions: 8 5/8" x 7" x 12"
Interior Dimensions: 8 9/16" x 6 5/8" x 11 1/4"
Weight: 15 lbs.
Power: 12 v DC
Price: MedixSafe 1 $995; MedixSafe 2 & 3: $1,495
O-Two Medical Technologies Inc. Smart Bag MO
|How often do you see someone using all their strength when squeezing a bag-valve mask to ventilate a patient and over-ventilating them? Well, the cardiac sphincter at the top of the stomach opens at a pressure of 20 cm of water. If the patient doesn’t have an underlying condition that requires high-ventilator pressures, you may just be filling the stomach with air. Even worse, you may cause barotrauma, which could prove fatal to the patient. The new Smart Bag MO from O-Two Medical Technologies Inc. contains a unique actuating mechanism built into the neck bushing, which actually responds to the rescuer’s squeeze and the patient. If you squeeze too hard, the valve will prevent excessive pressures, but if the patient has increased airway resistance, the valve will permit the higher pressure ventilation.
Adult Bag Volume: 1,700 mL
Child Bag Volume: 470 mL
Price: $21.79 (adult)
|Don’t you hate it when you check your equipment at the beginning of your shift and six hours later you notice the monitor batteries give you the low-power beep when you charge for the first defibrillation of the day? Manufacturers of battery-powered equipment have progressed to lithium-ion technology because of its ability to maintain a charge during periods of extended shelf life. Physio-Control introduced lithium-ion with the LIFEPAK 15 monitor/defibrillator, and it’s now available to retrofit LIFEPAK 12 monitor/defibrillators. The new REDI-CHARGE battery charger can be outfitted with an adaptor tray for the LIFEPAK 12 or LIFEPAK 15 monitor/defibrillators. With up to 12 hours of monitoring time, no conditioning concerns and just four hours to recharge, you shouldn’t have to worry about running out of power—even on your worst case scenario shift.
Battery Weight: 1.4 lbs.
Capacity: 7.2 amp hours, 80 Wh rated capacity
Operating Temperature Range: 32–122° F
Service Life: Two years
Rugged Computers T-10 Tablet PC
|Mobile computer needs for those of us in EMS pose a number of hardware challenges. Will the device handle an inevitable drop? Can I use it in the rain? Will it connect to the Internet? The new T-10 Tablet PC from Rugged Computers meets these needs and has some additional features that could make you more efficient. The IP-54 rating certifies protection against dust and water spray penetration, and the unit also withstands alcohol, bleach, iodine and other liquids. Its 10.4" XGA anti-glare LCD touch screen automatically rotates based on its orientation, reads ambient illumination and automatically adjusts brightness—a real plus in the field. The Intel Core 2 Solo ULV 1.06GHz CPU provides plenty of processing power and allows you to handle multiple integrated input/output devices, including an RFID reader, barcode scanner, webcam, fingerprint reader, integrated 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless and optional 3G wireless technologies.
Dimensions: 10.63" x 10.08" x 1.39"
Weight: 2.81 lbs.
Run Time: 2.25 hours
Power: 3-cell 2400 mAh lithium ion
Memory: 2 GB
Hard Drive: 60–120 GB
Smiths Medical Cricothyrotomy Kit (PCK)
|If your partner is calling for the cric kit, you know it’s a bad day. Surveys have shown that needle cricothyrotomy is a skill most paramedics won’t perform on a patient during their career. Because this is a low-frequency, high-risk skill, it’s one that you must practice regularly to know your equipment well and complete the procedure successfully within 45–60 seconds. The new Portex Cricothyrotomy Kit (PCK) from Smiths Medical has several unique features that make this seldom performed skill a little easier. The kit incorporates a needle design that displays a red marker during contact with tissue, which retracts to confirm entry into the trachea and indicates any subsequent contact with the posterior tracheal wall. The 6 mm bore cricothyrotomy tube enables spontaneous breathing, and the cuff secures the airway. Best of all, this compact, rugged kit is designed to survive in the EMS environment.
Dimensions: 7.5" x 3.5" x 2.25"
Weight: 3.5 oz.
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