EZ-IO Gains Popularity; Public Still Wary

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press, via JEMS:

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A new battery-powered drill is helping paramedics save lives, but it also might be scaring patients.

The handheld device makes injecting fluids and drugs quicker during many high-stress emergencies. It’s unfamiliar to patients and bystanders, though, so one emergency medical services official is hoping to spread the word about it.

“It’s important that people understand this, before a medic takes out this Black and Decker-looking thing and they wonder, ‘What in the hell are you doing?’” said Dr. R.J. Frascone, medical director of emergency medical services for Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

Regions EMS has been involved in early use and research of the so-called EZ-IO, which drills a needle through a soft spot below the knee and creates a port through which medics can inject and withdraw fluids. It’s typically used on patients in cardiac arrest or shock, and only then after medics are unable to manually thread needles into the veins in their hands or arms.

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