Los Alamos and Santa Fe fire department personnel gather for Handtevy training Wednesday at Los Alamos Fire Department Administration. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com
Los Alamos Fire Department Firefighter/Paramedic Eric Gonzales studies the Handtevy manual during Wednesday’s training. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com
When firefighters and paramedics are called to an emergency involving a critically ill or injured child, every second counts. Treating the child is difficult, stressful and time-sensitive.
Wednesday, emergency medical personnel from Los Alamos Fire Department and the City of Santa Fe Fire Department worked together to train in a new program, which is already being used in all 50 states and the two departments hope will give their crews rapid access to customized, lifesaving dosing and equipment information.
LAFD Emergency Medical Services Division Chief Ben Stone said the Handtevy Pediatric Resuscitation System software combined with Handtevy education and organizational tools will help improve outcomes with pediatric patients.
Stone said for decades, the complexity of figuring out medication dosing for pediatric patients concerned those in the emergency medical response world. He said in 2006, Dr. Peter Antevy discovered an easier method to help himself through treating critically-ill pediatric patients and over the next few years devised a customized resuscitation product that decentralizes complex information away from the code leader.
“The Handtevy System we learned about today provides a customized, predetermined approach to the critically-ill child, taking into account location, provider ability and resources,” Stone said. “When seconds count, it provides the best opportunity for a medical team to positively affect the outcome no matter where the child is at the time.”
The system is currently used by emergency medical services, cruise lines, helicopters and hospitals, and is expected to expand into clinics, physicians and dental practices.
Stone said EMS personnel can generalize medication dosages for adults but for children, dosages have to be more precise based on size and weight. He said with the old system paramedics had to wait until they were on the scene with the child and use a special measuring tape to measure from the top of the child’s head to their heel. Then they would have to work the math to figure out dosages.
“Now with the new Handtevy tablet technology, on the way to the scene paramedics can scroll through and look for information on seven year olds, for example, and start preparing the necessary equipment and medications on the way to the call,” he said.
Stone said it means paramedics and emergency medical technicians can focus on the child instead of having to figure out the dose.
Capt. Ryan Gentilcore, Chief Clinical Officer for Handtevy teaches the system to Los Alamos and Santa Fe fire department personnel. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com
Santa Fire Capt. Mario Rizzo, left, and Los Alamos Firefighter/Paramedic Zane Frentheway work with a medication kit Wednesday during training. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com
Participants in the Handtevy System training Wednesday at the Los Alamos Fire Department include, from left, LAFD Capt./Paramedic Michael Cayton, LAFD Firefighter/Paramedic Michael Cayton, LAFD Firefighter/Paramedic Andres Madueno and SFFD EMS Chief Greg Cliburn. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com