Dubai paramedics to use intravenous 'drill' Filed on April 12, 2008

DUBAI Critically ill patients will now be treated with an intravenous 'drill' by Dubai paramedics, a technology being used in the region for the first time.

Speaking to Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the International Medical Care and Diagnostic Conference and Exhibition (IMD 2008) on April 12, Omar Sakkaf, Head of Training Unit at the Centre of Ambulance Services (CAS), said the drill, the easy intravenous access, was particularly effective for patients requiring intense intravenous treatment.

"Children, elderly people, patients with over 60 per cent burns, severe shock and heart attack patients will benefit from the EZ-IO (intraosseous, a process of placing the injection directly into the marrow of the bone) as finding a vein to administer medicine during an emergency is particularly difficult for such patients," he explained.

"Increasingly, in the critical care setting, physicians and nurses are turning to the IO route as the first alternative to IVs rather than central lines. In the pre-hospital environment, emergency medical providers are finding that IO is immediate, safe and effective venous access," said Sakkaf.

The CAS will be using the drill on a trial basis on four mobile Intensive Care Units initially. "The best part is that there is no need for intensive training. A paramedic can use the drill after being trained for an hour after he has identified the area of treatment," said Sakkaf.

EZ-IO delivers medications, fluid and blood products directly into the vascular system, has a simple removal technique with an admirable speed of insertion, and is stable and secure. "It is effective for patients of all ages and weights," added Sakkaf. The technology is already being used in Australia, Canada and a few other countries.

Asma Ali Zain

Associated with KT for 15 years. Covers health issues, Pakistan community, human interest stories as well as general topics for daily news or features.

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