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Equipped to Respond: 10 Essential Pieces of EMS Gear to Keep on Hand

Equipped to Respond: 10 Essential Pieces of EMS Gear to Keep on Hand

Posted by Live Action Safety on 12th Mar 2024

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are the frontline heroes of our healthcare system. They provide critical care and lifesaving interventions in the most challenging situations. EMTs respond to 28.5 million emergency 911 calls each year.

Every day, these dedicated professionals spring into action. They are equipped with a range of specialized tools and EMS gear that are essential for delivering prompt and effective care. From basic first aid kits to advanced life support equipment, the array of EMS supplies at their disposal can mean the difference between life and death.

Here are 10 essential EMS items a well-prepared EMT should always have on hand.

1. Stethoscope

The stethoscope was invented in 1817 by French doctor Rene Laennec and has become a valuable piece of EMS gear. You use a stethoscope to listen to and assess vital signs such as heart rate, rhythm, and lung sounds. This information is crucial for determining the severity of a patient's condition and guiding treatment decisions.

By listening to heart and lung sounds, EMS providers can detect abnormalities such as heart murmurs, wheezing, or crackles, which may indicate serious underlying medical conditions requiring immediate attention.

2. First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is a collection of supplies and equipment for providing basic medical care in emergencies. It's an essential component of any medical provider's EMS gear. It typically includes adhesive bandages, sterile gauze pads, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, and antibiotic ointment for wound care.

First aid kits also include scissors and tweezers for safe handling and wound management. Instant cold packs provide relief for sprains, strains, and other injuries. An emergency blanket helps retain body heat in cases of shock or exposure.

3. Trauma Shears

Trauma shears are vital medical tools carried by emergency medical services. They are highly specialized scissors designed for cutting through clothing, bandages, or other materials quickly and safely in emergencies.

Trauma shears are typically made of stainless steel and have a rounded tip to prevent injury to the patient. They have serrated blades to provide a secure grip on materials while cutting.

The design of trauma shears minimizes the risk of accidentally cutting the patient's skin, making them safer to use in fast-paced and high-stress situations.

4. Tourniquets

Documented uses of tourniquets date back as far as 600 B.C.E India. These devices are widely used for battlefield injuries and aiding in amputation surgeries. A tourniquet works by tightening around the affected area to control the flow of blood so the patient doesn't bleed out.

Tourniquet devices are a standard practice in many EMS protocols and guidelines. Its ability to quickly and effectively stop the flow of blood helps to stabilize the patient until further medical treatment can be administered.

5. Penlight

A penlight is a small, portable flashlight often used in medical settings for examining the eyes, throat, and other areas of the body. Penlights are commonly used by EMS providers to examine the eyes for pupil size, reaction to light (pupillary light reflex), and signs of injury or illness.

In emergencies, penlights can be used to assess a patient's condition quickly without the need for additional equipment. They are particularly useful in low-light environments. They are compact and lightweight paramedic equipment.

6. CPR Mask

CPR mask, also known as a pocket mask or rescue mask, is a device used to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) while protecting both the rescuer and the patient from exposure to bodily fluids. CPR masks are easy to use and can be quickly applied in emergencies.

The one-way valve in the CPR mask allows the rescuer to deliver breaths to the patient without the risk of air or fluids returning to the rescuer's mouth. They allow the rescuer to provide CPR effectively while maintaining a safe distance from the patient's face.

7. Disposable Gloves

Gloves are an invaluable part of EMS gear. Disposable gloves are designed for single use and should be discarded after each use to prevent cross-contamination. They should not be washed or reused and torn gloves should be replaced immediately.

Disposable gloves provide a barrier between the wearer's hands and potentially infectious materials, including blood, bodily fluids, and other contaminants. This helps prevent the transmission of infections from patients to healthcare providers and vice versa.

8. Blood Pressure Cuff

A blood pressure cuff, also known as a sphygmomanometer, is a medical device used to measure blood pressure. It consists of an inflatable cuff, a pressure gauge, and a mechanism for inflating and deflating the cuff.

Measuring blood pressure is a critical part of assessing a patient's overall health. It can help diagnose hypertension (high blood pressure), hypotension (low blood pressure), and other cardiovascular conditions.

EMS providers receive training in blood pressure measurement as part of their certification and are taught how to use and correctly use them and interpret the results accurately.

9. Splinting Materials

Splinting materials are used to immobilize and support injured limbs or body parts. They can help reduce pain, as well as prevent further injury and promote healing. Splinting also allows for easier transportation of the injured person.

You secure splits in place using bandages, tape, or other fastening methods. It's important to secure the splint firmly but not too tightly, as this can affect blood circulation.

10. Pulse Oximeter

A pulse oximeter is a medical device used to measure the oxygen saturation level (SpO2) and pulse rate of an individual. It is a non-invasive and painless tool that is commonly used in emergency medical services, hospitals, and home healthcare settings.

A pulse oximeter works by emitting light wavelengths through the skin and measuring the amount of light absorbed by oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin in the blood. The device then calculates the oxygen saturation level and pulse rate based on the light absorption.

Find the Best EMS Gear at Live Action Safety Today

The right EMS supplies can make all the difference in proper patient assessment and care. For EMS workers on the front lines of providing crucial first-response care, quality EMS supplies aren't just tools, they're lifelines that empower EMS workers to deliver care in the most demanding situations.

Live Action Safety is your top choice for medical kit suppliers with top-quality emergency medical supplies. We offer thousands of quality products from leading manufacturers to help our customers save lives. We also provide prompt and accurate delivery anywhere in the U.S.

Contact us today for all your EMS gear needs.

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