Released on: Friday, November 16, 2012 1:30 PM
Children in critical condition are now being treated with greater efficiency, as the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety has a new tool kit on its trucks designed specifically for pediatric cases. The kits were donated by the Alpharetta Public Safety Foundation and provide Alpharetta EMT’s and paramedics with quick and easy access to specific, child-sized equipment and charts alleviating the need to calculate sizes and doses during stressful situations.
“The response times are the same but we have taken the diagnosis and treatment to a whole new level,” said Councilman D.C. Aiken. “God forbid we have to deal with that, but now we’re able to deal with it more efficiently.”
Previously, the smaller tools were kept alongside adult equipment, making it harder to find an endotracheal tube, for example. Paramedics would dump out their tool kit and search for the correct size. Now, all the rescue tools are arranged in a color-coded system based on the child’s physical size and age. A Broselow measurement tape determines where the child falls in the color-coded range. A child between 2 and 3.5 years of age, weighing 26-31 pounds, typically falls in the color code yellow. In a case of cardiac arrest, a paramedic will have in hand the yellow-coded bag containing the appropriately sized equipment along with a dosage chart for medications. He will immediately know that 1:10,000 is the appropriate concentration of Epinephrine for a child in the yellow range
“Instead of doing a quick calculation at 3 a.m. under stressful conditions, there is a chart in the bag. We don’t have to worry about what size or dose,” said firefighter and paramedic Ryan Gipson, who brought the proposal for the kits to administrators. “This is for the really sick kids, who are in cardiac arrest or may be having a seizure. It is for those who require invasive procedures quickly.”
Newly added are vein lights which illuminate veins and carbon monoxide sensors. Costing approximately $1,000 each, there are 11 kits total, with one on each of the six fire engines, ladder truck, the rescue truck, at the training center, in the special events vehicle and a back-up.