Extrication Zone, Fire EMS, Firefighting

Vehicle Extrication: Damage Control Extrication: An Approach to Critical Trauma Patients

Issue 3 and Volume 168.

By Bill Hallinan The fire service is rapidly innovating and adjusting its fire attack methods to respond to 21st-century fires. Likewise, challenges in the field of vehicle rescue require firefighters to evolve their approach to provide critically injured patients the greatest chance for survival. Vehicle design changes such as high-strength super steels, impenetrable occupant compartments, complex restraint systems, and alternative fuels create survivable spaces for patients in collisions that would have otherwise been a recovery operation. The changing population of drivers leads to encounters with drivers that are older, obese, or living with complex medical conditions that impact chances for survival. Advances in the availability and types of rescue tools have also led to a reevaluation of our approach to vehicle extrication. The concept of Damage Control Extrication (DCEx) was first described in 2009 by Dr. Mark Gestring, director of the Kessler Trauma Center at the University of Rochester. This…

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