Every once in a while, despite the slow pace of life out here in the Lagoon, I get to learn a new skill. Today was a biggie. A few months ago the clinic got an EZ-IO tool. For those of you not in the know, this is an Easy (EZ) Intraosseous (I.O.) Device. Even more simply, its a battery powered small hand-held drill that bores into a patient’s leg (or other FDA approved site shoulder or ankle) in order to rapidly establish a stable and secure line for the delivery of fluids, medications and blood products to the vascular system. Read that again. A hand-held drill that screws a needle into a patients bone so I can give them fluids.
Its an emergency device, not a day to day used one and after trying it out, well, lets just say that I’m glad that the future patients will not be in a state to comment on the pain. I’m also very glad that the tool exisits because otherwise I would have to screw the needle in by hand and trust me, it was hard enough to get my mind in flux the idea that I was drilling into this mans bone with a drill. It was the longest 15 seconds of my life from insertion to pulling out the bore to starting to flush fluid and to start the whole thing by hand might have been more than I could take.
Why would I do this to a real, not in need of emergent care, person? Because there is no point in having a tool if you dont know how to use it properly. If you haven’t practised on a real human then you have no real life experience and I dont know about you but I like my health care providers to know exactly what they are doing. If you dont know how someone is going to react to the pain, you dont know what you will do in response. If you haven’t done it to yourself or had it done to you, you have no right to tell someone, “Its OK”. This last one is D’s reasoning. Me? I would prefer just to say, “I bet it hurts but it will be over as quickly as I can finish”. No way someone is touching me with that 15 gauge needle 🙂