The effect of a chemical protective ensemble on intravenous line insertion by emergency medical technicians

Haim Berkenstadt, Michael Arad, Orit Nahtomi, Jacob Atsmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Protective gear is mandatory for medical personnel treating casualties in a contaminated environment. In the present study, we assessed the ability of emergency medical technicians to insert an intravenous line in this situation. Sixty emergency medical technicians were randomized to a control group, wearing fatigues, and a study group, wearing full protective gear. The ability to insert an intravenous line in healthy volunteers was assessed 1, 2, 4, and 8 hours after randomization. We found no effect of protective gear (p = 0.543) or time in protective gear (p = 0.8869) on success rate or on time needed for successful task completion (p = 0.4005 and p = 0.9021, respectively). The overall success rate was 58.6%, 65% in the unprotected state and 56% in the protected state, and the time was 303 ± 115 and 351 ± 113 seconds, respectively. These findings suggest that introduction of an intravenous line is possible but time consuming even after a prolonged stay in full protective gear. Alternative methods for antidotal treatment, such as the use of automatic autoinjectors for intramuscular administration, might be suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737-739
Number of pages3
JournalMilitary Medicine
Volume164
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1999

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