The modern ambulance is a moving hospital ward – equipped to save lives and safely transport patients to hospital. First responders are tasked with some extremely tough assignments. Luckily, a standard group of equipment types has been adopted across most services to help them treat patients. Countless lives have been saved by first responders and paramedics since the introduction of the ambulance in 1487. Medical supplies have certainly changed since then.
Here are six types of ALS Ambulance Equipment List that are absolutely essential:
The defibrillator is perhaps the most essential single piece of equipment carried in ambulances today. When called to the scene of a cardiac arrest, first responders can administer electric pulses to the heart of a person who is in cardiac arrest. The first defibrillator was conceived in Geneva in 1899 by Jean-Louis Prévost and Frédéric Batelli. The basic design has since been vastly improved, and AED machines are now carried portably by crews all over the world. Sites like rapid-rescue.com.au offer medical equipment for emergency responders in Australia, and stock several defibrillation systems.
Haemorrhage of blood following on from traumatic injury remains the most common potentially preventable cause of traumatic death in many nations. As such, ambulance crews have to be fully equipped with bandages and dressings specifically designed to stem the flow of blood. Haemorrhage control is a key part of any first responder’s training.
Emergency oxygen therapy is a staple of first response care. Patients with respiratory illnesses and shock after a traumatic injury may require oxygen to be added to their airflow. Ambulance crews are generally cautious not to give patients oxygen for too long, as this can cause hypercapnic respiratory failure in some cases.
Patients with spine and neck injuries need to be treated with extreme caution. Any twisting or stretching of the spinal chord during transport to the emergency room could have disastrous consequences and mean the difference between full recovery and paralysis. In the past, patients with spinal injuries used to be kept on spinal boards for long periods. This practice has now ended; evidence has suggested that spinal boards should only be used for initial transportation to avoid bedsores and muscular pain.
Nebulizers are ingenious devices that convert drugs into a vapour for inhalation. This is often crucial during first response care: drugs can be administered whilst the patient is undergoing oxygen therapy, and the mask need not be removed. Nebulizers allow for respiratory drugs, such as Salbutamol, to be instantly added to the patient’s airflow.
Sphygmomanometers measure blood pressure by way of an inflating cuff which is placed around the patient’s arm. The first modern ‘cuff’ sphygmomanometer was created by Scipione Riva-Rocci in 1896. Hypertension – or high blood pressure – is often referred to as the ‘silent killer’. First responders will often be required to check for hypertension when attending a cardiac arrest patient. All ambulances carry some method of measuring blood pressure, most commonly a cuff style sphygmomanometer.