Cutting tools have been used by pre-hospital medical staff for many years to swiftly and safely remove patients’ clothes in emergency situations. Now, the inventor of such a tool wants to equip defibrillators with it as well.
During cardiac arrest, the chance of survival is reduced by 7-10% for each minute without defibrillation. An important factor in reducing that time is to quickly remove the patient’s clothes.
A study conducted at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital, published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine in 2011, showed that a cutting tool (S-Cut) was 63 seconds faster on average than a pair of scissors for exposing the chest of a person suffering cardiac arrest.
”S-Cut is the first cutting tool for removing clothes, whose effect has been proven in a peer-reviewed scientific study,” says Björn Åhlén, a paramedic who has been involved in developing the S-Cut tool and starting the company ES Equipment with the purpose of further develop, market and sell S-Cut in Sweden and internationally.
Reduced Risk for Damage
Apart from the time gain, using a cutter minimises the risk of cutting off tubes or ECG cords, or damaging the patient or oneself.
”A cutting tool is of great importance in the cases of cardiac arrests, and in motorcycle accidents, since it’s almost impossible to cut through a motorcycle overall with a pair of scissors,” says Doctor Andreas Claesson, an experienced paramedic, who does research on cardiac arrest at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.
”Cutting tools have been used by paramedics for many years and we would like to see defibrillators equipped with cutters as well. Every year, around 5,000 cardiac arrests are reported by the ambulance services to the Swedish resuscitation council’s register. Approx 1,500 are Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrests (OHCAs). If defibrillators were equipped with S-Cut, it’s estimated that 54-75 more people in Sweden would survive cardiac arrest each year,” Björn Åhlén concludes.