CACHE, OK (TNN) - Everyday paramedics respond to the calls bringing emergency medical care to injured and ill patients. Training and experience count but so does the equipment they carry.
You breathe every minute of the day, often without even thinking about it.
“If you don’t breathe nothing else really matters,” Michael Bolin, paramedic.
It’s essential to life and when breathing stops, emergency responders like, Michael Bolin, know the seconds count.
“We have to secure that airway because that is the most important thing,” said Bolin.
Establishing an airway is not as simple as it sounds.
“Because there’s no signs underneath that says, ‘Trachea here!’, with big flashing lights, said Bolin. "That would be great but it doesn’t work like that.”
Not only is each patient physically different but circumstances can also make it extremely difficult.
“I’ve had to intubate somebody in a car before," said Bolin. "They’re trapped in the car, they’re pinned, the fire department is trying to use the jaws-of-life, they’re losing their airway. I’ve had to intubate in the middle of the rain outside. We don’t get that operating and they’re on the table and they’re perfect.”
Now, Michael has a new tool to help make the critical skill of securing an airway a bit easier.
“It’s totally different than the laryngoscopes that I’d been dealing with for the last 20 plus years,” said Bolin.
It’s called the Vie Scope and it’s a portable, hand-held device that was invented by an Oklahoma surgeon. The Vie Scope features a fluted, clear plastic tube with LED lighting.
“I think it’s easier because it’s just one thing," said Bolin. "If you look at our kits now, we have two different size handles and then we have eight different blades and now we don’t have that we have one scope with a blade already attached and then we have a bougie that comes along with it and that’s it.”
Michael says another plus is it’s disposable.
“It’s a one-time use," said Bolin. "So, we use it on the patient and we throw it away. The next patient gets something brand new. We’re not washing them, reusing them and possibly cross-contaminating.”
A growing number of emergency medical systems have added the Vie Scope to their life-saving equipment including Fort Sill and the Cache Volunteer Fire Department.
“In EMS we’re always looking for ways to do things better, faster, safer for our patients," said Bolin. "If it’s going to be easier, fast to do, then that’s what we want.”
To learn more about the Vie Scope, visit www.adroitsurgical.com.