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HEMS bags/equipment

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Hi there

In our service, HEMS in North of Sweden, we are planning to get new bags. Now we have large not-comfortable bags with lots of things thats "nice". We use them to all kinds of mission; ICU-transport aswell as primary mission like snowmobileaccident/trauma, "CPR-mission". But our plan is to be more of a "load and play"-, instead of "stay and play"-organization. If you now what I mean.

The idea is to have a smaller backpack with some drugs, ET-tubes+laryngoscope, IV-lines. The things we use most of the time.

Anyone with similiar "needs"? Input? Pictures? Ideas?

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Welcome to the City.

My service used a backpack similar to the Statpacks (although I don't remember if we used that particular brand name).  In the backpacks we had all of our basic needs equipment to include code/RSI meds, airway equipment (tubes, bougies, blades, bvm etc...), IV catheters, tubuing and fluids, IO equipment and bandaging supplies.  One crew member carried narcs/benzos.  The monitor/defibrillator was carried separately (LP12 as of my departure for grad school a few years ago).  We also had a separate on board drug bag for all the other meds we carried.  Pumps were in their own bag and only taken out for interfacility transports or if we needed them with a scene patient on a flight.

We had a goal of 10 minutes on scene and 30 minutes at bedside for interfacilities... very much a "get in and get out" mindset.  It seemed to work well for us.

Hope this helps.  Please let me know if you have any other questions.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Currently we're using a series of Pelican type cases. We've colour coded them so the two boxes we need for a scene call versus inter-facility are yellow. One contains medications/IV supplies etc. while the other is essentially an airway kit (the monitor is in a bag with all the normal accompanying pieces). Our crews are two Critical Care Paramedics and two Pilots so there are enough of us to carry everything even when there isn't a ground crew we're meeting.

The boxes have pluses and minuses like anything. They're excellent for sanitary purposes, keeping equipment organized, and preventing equipment damage. On the downside they don't have pack straps if you have to walk in any distance and they're heavier than a soft bag with equivalent storage capacity.

I like that we've separated the basics from the heavier ICU type equipment. If it's a longer flight we can still pull out the vent/pumps to set up on the way to the receiving instead of pre-departure. If it's a short flight we can manually ventilate and use push dose medications.

One of the pieces I most like about our system is the way our monitoring and life support equipment rack onto the stretcher allowing everything to continue without interruption until hospital staff are ready to transition to their equipment.


I'll keep trying to find a better picture of the system for you. It was originally custom engineered for our program which operates both rotary and fixed wing so it may be difficult to find.

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We use backpacks: an airway bag, a ventilator bag, a circulation bag (IV pumps, ect..) and a drug bag.

Scene calls we use the airway and drug bag.

ICU transfers we haul in the lot in.

Also, we use the LP12 (soon Zoll) and it has compartments on the back and side for BP cuffs, EKG cables, and various cables to fit different arterial line.


The ventilator, pumps, and LP12 all attach to our stretcher which we can transfer between fixed wing, helicopter, or ambulances. We use to use a #9 and tray but now we can load the stretcher into a King Air:


Downside with the bags is keeping them dry in winter.  Lay them in the snow and they get wet.  Or, getting blood on them.  Lastly, equipment takes more abuse in a backpack.


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I love the idea of ditching the #9 entirely for the sake of simplicity and patient safety during loading/unloading.

We're using the Zoll for airevac in BC. You'll love it once you're used to it's quirks (no rotary dial, manually starting EtCO2, Sync is a soft key etc.).

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We recently restructured our non-transport first responder squad's bags. Beeing the one who restructured the equipment from hard cases to backpacks (knapsack) years ago I was surprised to find how much the backpack makes in weight. A new member (military tactical EMS background) gave the idea to reduce weight, so we now have a very light backpack with no additional pockets. Just using the simple design reduced weight from around 18 kilograms to around 10 kilograms, carrying much the same as before. OK, we dropped out the O2 tank to an extra bag, but a significant weight reduction just came from choosing a light weight knapsack without much extras. It contains all relevant material for advanced aid to a single patient, including i.v., airway and drugs.

Now we have an easy to handle 10kg knapsack, a ~3 kg O2 tank bag and a LP15. What did I learn? Don't underestimate the packaging itself!

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Thanks for all the answer. 


A smaller backpack is what we need, like some of you also use. I found these, I like the idea with the first one, you can attach it to a larger backpack:


Or maybe this one:


We also use ZOLL, but are changing are system to ORTIVUS Mobimed Smart. They use it in all of the ambulances in North of Sweden.

I think we´re gonna do like paramedicmike, one small bag with narcs/benzo. Then we dont have to carry the whole backpack, when "off-call".



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