Welcome to our Equipment Zone! Explore the different pieces of equipment our crews use on their life-saving missions everyday.
Dr Drew Welch talks about the vital equipment that we carry on board our helicopters and rapid response vehicles allowing the team to perform advanced clinical interventions on scene. All of this is only made possible by the incredible support we receive from the community.
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.