Welcome to our Equipment Zone! Explore the different pieces of equipment our crews use on their life-saving missions everyday.
Pneupac BabyPAC ventilator
In February 2018 we introduced the Pneupac babyPAC ventilator to our kit. This piece of equipment is designed to deliver ventilation to the small, fragile lungs of new-born or young patients. The ventilator allows our critical care team to take over a patient’s breathing and deliver specialist support throughout a transfer to hospital. We adapted the helicopter interior to carry the ventilator and our doctors and CCPs underwent training prior to the babyPAC being introduced. Pneupac babyPAC ventilators cost £5,500 each.
This year we have reviewed the kit bags that our crew take to scene to treat our patients. Our doctors and critical care paramedics (CCPs) need to be physically fit to do this job because the range of equipment they have to carry to and from scene is extensive and can be heavy. Our previous kit bags weighed around 18kg each – to put it into perspective that is nearly the weight of two carry on suitcases. Reviewing the bags means that we have managed to get the weight of each bag down to around 15kg, which is much easier for the doctors and CCPs to manage. Not only is it better for their wellbeing but it means that we are carrying the most vital and useful equipment that is now much more accessible and ensures we are treating patients in the most effective way possible. We carry exactly the same kit on our helicopters and rapid response vehicles and across both Norwich and Cambridge bases. Our crew carry two main bags – a red one and a blue one and a Zoll X Series monitor. Depending on the nature of the job, they may decide to take the Oxylog 3000 Plus Ventilator, a chest trauma bag or the two RePHILL blood boxes.
The portable ultrasound machine is a valuable tool our clinicians use to help with decision making and diagnosis. Imagine a patient has been badly injured in an accident. In the early stages of injury, clinical signs such as pulse and blood pressure can be falsely reassuring even if there is significant internal bleeding from the liver or spleen.
The ultrasound can be used to look for this which means that vital information can be passed on to the hospital to get blood and theatres ready – saving valuable minutes. It can also help us decide which hospital to take the patient to.
The ultrasound can be used to look at the heart to determine what the cause of a cardiac arrest is. In some cases, this information can help the crew to decide whether a life-saving procedure is needed before arriving in hospital. Some people have large visible veins and have no problem having a blood test but unfortunately there are times where veins are not always forthcoming. The ultrasound machine can help us spot the elusive veins which are deeper underneath the skin. This allows us to get intravenous access and give drugs for pain relief, or even general anaesthesia at the road side.
These machines cost around £6400 each, and your amazing support helps fund vital equipment like this.
This is one of the most vital pieces of kit that our critical care teams carry, costing £34,000 each. Every patient is attached to the monitor, which measures vital signs, including; blood pressure, pulse rate, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation. It also works as a defibrillator, carries out cardiac pacing and prints-out patient results.
Each patient is connected to the device and provided with continuous monitoring and assessment – staying attached to the monitor until they arrive at hospital, where their care is handed over to the hospital team. EAAA have six monitors – one for each helicopter, one for each rapid response vehicle (RRV) and a spare at each base. The monitors are replaced every five years, and we are looking to replace them early 2019.