What's in my medical bandolier?
One of the greatest Young Adult series ever written (in my very humble opinion) was the Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix, in part because of its unique systems of magic. One aspect of this system was based in music—the most memorable examble of which was the set of 7 magical bells used by necromancers to raise and control the Dead (or lay them back to rest, in the case of the Abhorsen, but that’s literally a story for another time).
My wife and I are both huge fans of the series, so naturally we had a conversation recently that started when she asked me what medical items I would have in my necromancer’s bandolier. As a former EDC (“everyday carry”) enthusiast and someone who (by my wife’s description) is both personally and professionally paranoid, I’ve actually put together an “Oh Sh*t Kit” for my car in the past, which contained a number of high-yield medical items I never wanted to leave the house without, so I actually had most of my answer already at hand, but the question was interesting enough that I wanted to give it another go and see what I could really come up with. So here’s my list:
- Butterfly iQ+: Anyone who knows me knows I can’t go anywhere without my trusty ultraportable probe. Usually more than one, but that’s just because I’m greedy.
- Bottle of ultrasound gel: Obvious next choice. But since we’re being whimsical today, let’s go with something a bit fancier, just because.
- Pixel 5 smartphone: I’m assuming this will be in there, although it’s still about a week and a half from actually being mine. This one is also obvious, as I need a “second brain”, but also because I need something that can run my iQ+.
- Direct laryngoscope with a Mac 4 blade: I’m a REALLY black cloud at work. Like, I literally have a badge pin of a black cloud. I’m just an absolute sh*t-magnet. So I happen to intubate a fair amount, and the Mac 4 is my workhorse. While I have the luxury of a Glidescope with a hyperangulated “LoPro” blade at work, I never trust that it will be working when I need it, so I’ve worked hard to maintain my DL skills over the years.
- Endotracheal tube (7.0): Gotta have something to put in the airway once you visualize it, right?
- Long 14g angiocath: To rapidly decompress a tension pneumothorax (although it can obviously be used for IV access). This might actually be kinda selfish, since I’ve had recurrent spontaneous pneumos in the past, and I still worry about my other lung…
- LifeStat Pocket Airway Tool: Sticking with the theme of ultrasound and airway tools, a theme that has only just now become overwhelmingly obvious to me, I’ve wanted one of these little beauties for my keychain ever since I saw my mentor’s in my first EM rotation in med school. Her’s was apparently a free gift from a vendor at ACEP many years ago. Sadly, it’s now $125, and I’ve never been able to convince myself it’s quite worth it.
So that’s my list. What about you? What medical gear can you not imagine leaving home without?