When an event happens, your emergency response needs to be quick and effective. Among all the supplies you need to do your job, few items have more of an impact than your basic emergency field guide.
When you pick a guide to carry, make sure it’s small enough to fit in your pocket and has clear, easy to read tabs. Look for the following sections and make sure to choose a guide that includes current AHA guidelines.
Basic and intermediate EMS protocols are likely to be second nature to you, but a quality guide will have a section dedicated to this subject. In addition to EMS protocols, a section on basic and intermediate medications should be included as well.
Areas that address defibrillation as well as EKG Rhythms are necessary. In the midst of an emergency, having clearly defined steps is crucial to keep on track and ensure the safety of the patient as well as your own.
A section on basic anatomy, signs and symptoms is important. Make sure that basic body systems are included as well as standard patient responses or symptoms that may assist with triage.
Prescription drugs are constantly evolving and a current listing of the top drugs is essential for your field guide. Drug interactions are sometimes as much of an issue as the original medical problem and can impact your emergency response greatly.
Check the guide for lists of infectious diseases and their symptoms as well as poisons and overdoses. It’s nearly impossible to remember all the different ways people can be infectious or types of poisons that they may have ingested.
Some of the higher quality guides have a list of common medical mnemonics to assist you in remembering whole sets of information easily and quickly. Look for those as well as a section on medical abbreviations.
Airway and intubation procedures and information is necessary as well as pulse oximetry. Oxygen administration should also be included.
A section on trauma that includes the Glasgow Coma Scales is important. Multiple patient triage need to be there as well as pediatric emergencies. Burn charts and the Rule of 9’s should have a section also.
Field guides are an essential part of your emergency response kit. Check out guides and keep looking until you find one that includes the above information so that you can be fully prepared no matter what the emergency.