EMS Ambulance 13 May 2022
Keeping you safe: the EMS Ambulance medical bag
Medical repatriations come in many different shapes and sizes. While some are ultra-time-critical emergencies, others are more about moving a patient securely between hospitals – a relative who wants to fly abroad for long-term cancer treatment, for example (“medical tourism”).
Whoever is organising your patient’s repatriation, however, needs to be well prepared for every eventuality. If the unexpected happens – as it sometimes does on long-distance transports – you want to be sure your patient’s medical team has the tools and personnel to handle the emergency.
The bright red PAX-Bag is one of the key ways we do that here at EMS Ambulance. This is a mobile emergency kit that goes with us on all our transports, from commercial flights with a medical escort right through to advanced air ambulance flights. Here’s what it contains.
(1): Secure container
Dual-purpose trolley bag with carry-straps for narrow aisles and awkward spaces. Each bag is around 60cmx36cm and made from extra durable, wipe-clean material. They’re designed and supplied by the renowned German manufacturer PAX.
(2) Vital medicines
Our medics also carry a wide range of medicines for critical-care situations. This includes painkillers (from aspirin to morphine), sedatives (such as haloperidol), cardiac medicines (e.g. amiodarone), allergy medication (e.g. adrenaline), antibiotics (such as ceftriaxone) and various medical solutions.
(3) Backup power
We carry standby device batteries and a flashlight / torch as standard, but can also bring advanced backup batteries if necessary: this would be for equipment like heart monitors and additional oxygen supply (see below).
(4) Diagnostics pouch
Colour-coded container with instruments for checking and diagnosing patient vital signs. Includes a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter (to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood) and kit for monitoring blood sugar levels.
(5) Pressure bag
Small storage bag with equipment for intravenous infusion.
(6) Breathing support
Small container for important oxygen-related treatment: nasal cannulas (for delivering oxygen through the nose), oxygen mask and nebulizer mask (nebulizers are small devices that deliver medication in a fine mist that patients can breathe into their airways).
(7) Emergency extras
It wouldn’t be an emergency kit without standard first-aid items like gloves, cleaning gels and wipes, sickness bags, disposal bins, medical masks and sterilising fluids. With more than 80 litres of capacity, the main storage section has room for all kinds of medical extras.
(8) Cannulation kit
Emergency-care pouch with a range of important feeds and tubes for delivering medication and fluids to patients. Includes needles, syringes in various sizes, cannulas (little tubes that are placed into veins) and intravenous drip (IV) components. There are also bandages, a torniquet, alcohol wipes, dressings and medical tape.
(9) Intubation bag
Lower pocket with a range of specialist devices to help aid breathing, maintain open airways and deliver oxygen to the lungs if it’s needed. Includes oropharyngeal (OP) tubes, endotracheal (ET) tubes, a laryngeal mask and laryngoscope.
(10) Specialist items for your patient
Beyond the basics, we can also bring items that are specific to your patient and their medical needs. This includes particular medicines that they might have been taking in their current hospital (our team will collect these on arrival). But it goes beyond that too; for example:
- Portable monitor for your patient’s vital signs
- PPE (personal protection equipment) in case we need to isolate the patient
- Mobile nebuliser
- Portable oxygenator
- ACCUVAC to clear airways in emergencies
- Defibrillator for cardiac emergencies
Surprisingly enough, this is just a snapshot of the items we can bring on a medical repatriation – the full range is even more extensive! It’s also worth saying that we have other PAX-Bags for specialist situations, such as a paediatric repatriation for a baby or young child (for more on this topic, see Medical flights for children – 5 things to think about before you book).
But hopefully this gives you a sense of the support we can provide for patients when they’re on the road or in the air with EMS. Whatever they need – and wherever they’re travelling to – our team will be on hand and ready to help them.
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