Every day, millions of Americans reap the benefits of our modern medical system. From advances in cancer treatment to surgical implants, we are living longer, healthier lives thanks to new technology, more effective drugs, and greater diagnostic precision.
But medicine itself can be inherently dangerous. Patients trust their physicians to make decisions that will correct or cure their illness or injury, and physicians trust the medical industry to produce safe, effective products. But not every patient story ends in success.
Medical Devices in the Field: The Importance of Suction
EMS is part of this greater medical sphere. As professionals, we rely on devices, such as cardiac monitors, intubation equipment, and immobilization gear, to aid us in lifesaving procedures. We expect these devices to work when we use them, because in an emergency, each moment you waste on equipment malfunction or failure means an increased risk of death for your patient. And no device is more fundamental than your portable suction unit.
When confronted with an obstructed airway, whether it be from sputum, blood, or tissue, the most effective means of clearing the airway is your portable suction unit. The unit must function efficiently and effectively to remove debris, because without an airway, nothing else you do matters. Providing a patent airway is your primary objective in patient care.
The suction unit must not only be effective, but it must be reliable. Battery life is critical, especially for situations involving extended treatment times, such as extrications. Efficient batteries, along with alternative power sources, are necessary for the unit to perform proficiently, so be sure your portable suction unit is designed for reliability.
And finally, your portable suction unit must be portable. The demanding nature of EMS calls requires lightweight, durable suction units that can stand up to the rigors of weather and rough handling. The unit must be constructed of high-quality materials so that the intricate electronics within are protected, even under the most severe conditions.
In our imperfect world, medical devices will fail. But you can minimize the chance of failure by choosing devices that are well-made, tough, and, above all, reliable.