How to Train EMS Teams on Prehospital Airway Suctioning

Posted by Sam D. Say

Feb 11, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Prehospital airway suctioning can treat aspiration, choking, obstructed airways, and other common emergencies. Yet many first responders spend little time thinking about, let alone practicing, this vital skill. Because all interventions, including suctioning, carry some risks, this lack of experience may make providers reluctant to suction patients. Training EMS teams on prehospital airway suctioning can counteract this reluctance and empower teams to provide prompt, efficient, effective care in a wide variety of emergency settings. 

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Topics: Emergency medical suction, Airway management

5 Key Factors for Managing Airways in Children

Posted by Sam D. Say

Feb 6, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Respiratory issues are common in children. Choking remains a leading cause of childhood injury and death. About 1 percent of newborns experience respiratory distress, and respiratory issues are the leading cause of death among premature infants. Drowning and aspiration are relatively common. An injured or sick child is always a crisis, and caregivers may be panicking as you tend to their beloved little one. The following tips can help you masterfully treat children in a way that saves their lives, protects their dignity, and reassures their caregivers. 

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Topics: Airway management

Advanced Airway Management Techniques to Use in an Emergency

Posted by Sam D. Say

Feb 4, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Advanced airway management goes beyond simple airway management techniques you might learn in a single class. Advanced airway techniques fall into three broad categories, each with a wide variety of techniques and skills a practitioner must master. 

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Topics: Airway management

How to Know When Airway Discomfort Is a Serious Problem

Posted by Sam D. Say

Jan 30, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Allergies, a minor cold, and the flu can all cause airway discomfort. But complications from these usually minor conditions can be dangerous, especially to vulnerable people such as elders and children. Serious conditions such as aspiration, partial obstructions, pneumonia, and other disorders may also trigger airway discomfort. So when is airway discomfort a sign of a serious problem, and when is it just a passing symptom? First responders must know the difference. 

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Topics: Airway management

The Consequences of a Dirty Suction Machine

Posted by Sam D. Say

Jan 28, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Treating patients during emergencies, whether you’re a doctor, nurse, or EMS professional, is stressful and exhausting work. Competent, compassionate care often requires working as quickly as possible while minimizing needless distractions. Many providers skip lunch and breaks, ignore their own personal needs, and work hour after hour in frigid temperatures or on empty stomachs. So it’s understandable that you might skip cleaning your suction machine, especially if you feel burdened by rules and regulations that seem to do little to help patients. A dirty suction machine, however, is more than just a technical violation of the rules. It poses a serious threat to vulnerable patients. 

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Topics: Medical Suction

The Consequences Patient Care Providers Face When They Fail to Use Their Tools

Posted by Sam D. Say

Jan 23, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Patient care providers—doctors, first responders, nurses, and a veritable cornucopia of other experts—all must rely on a deep toolbox of life-saving equipment. Caring for patients requires that care providers know when, where, and how to use these tools, and that they keep these tools ready to go at all times. This is more than just a professional duty; it’s a moral obligation. Care providers can face serious consequences when they fail to prepare and correctly use their tools. 

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Topics: Respiratory

What You Need to Know About Supraglottic Airways

Posted by Sam D. Say

Jan 21, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Supraglottic airway devices are a mainstay of emergency management. They open the upper airway, allowing a person to breathe when there is an airway obstruction. Supraglottic devices such as the laryngeal mask airway (LMA) were once primarily used in surgical settings where a patient was under general anesthesia. Today, these devices are standard in many first responder’s kit because of their ability to quickly and safely secure the airway. When tracheal intubation or mask ventilation fail or become impossible to manage, a supraglottic airway can fill the void, preventing or treating serious respiratory emergencies. 

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Topics: Aspiration

Best Practices for Maintaining a Patient Airway in a Tough Situation

Posted by Sam D. Say

Jan 16, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Early training in airway management usually focuses on the easy cases. Even as you graduate to working on the difficult airway, classroom training can’t fully prepare you for the many challenges emergency care will throw at you. You may have to tend to patients who are angry and combative, manage delicate airways in frigid cold or dangerous heat, treat patients in unsecured settings, and help people with dementia, developmental delays, or severe mental illness to understand the process of airway management. These tips can help you maintain a patent airway even in challenging situations. 

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Topics: airway obstruction

Does Airway Protection Prevent Acute Respiratory Failure?

Posted by Sam D. Say

Dec 13, 2019 11:51:08 AM

Airway protection can be life-saving for people who are experiencing the effects of both acute and chronic respiratory illness. But airway protection is not an antidote to respiratory failure, and will not necessarily prevent it. Indeed, some doctors even argue that the need for airway protection is a sign of respiratory failure, because the patient cannot effectively exchange gases on their own. Prompt intervention in a respiratory emergency may prevent respiratory failure in some cases, although there are no guarantees. 

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Topics: Respiratory

Helpful Steps to Hooking Up Your Suction Machine

Posted by Sam D. Say

Nov 29, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Quickly and efficiently hooking up your portable suction machine can save precious seconds, preventing hypoxia and reducing the risk of serious respiratory complications. Hooking up a suction machine should only take a few seconds. However, if you’ve never done it before, the process can feel overwhelming and frustrating. It’s important that your team regularly drill the process, particularly if using suction machines is an infrequent part of your job with which team members have little practice. Here are the basic steps for getting your machine ready to go. 

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Topics: Medical Suction