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Time for R&R – Perspective by Dr Jonny Gordon

True life or limb threatening emergencies are rare – thankfully.

The flip to this is that because they are rare (and because we are only human) we are not always as prepared for them as we could be. I know this through my own experiences in sport and particularly because of mistakes that I have made – some mistakes that I also see being repeated over by other clinicians.

Please do not get me wrong – this is absolutely not meant to be a criticism – I believe it is simply a reality.

The principle of ‘Human Factors’ is gaining increasing importance in medicine. It provides us with an awareness of the limitations we all have and in turn allows us to better understand these failings and minimise our mistakes – learning from ourselves and others in a positive rather than a negative manner. We are all fallible. The tragedy is thinking ‘I know better’ and believing that the errors we see others making are not something we would ever do.

There can simply just be too many things to prioritise (I absolutely 100% get this) and then when bad things happen it turns out we are maybe not quite as prepared as we thought we were.

Where SportPromote primarily allowed me to structure how best to transfer ED knowledge into managing emergencies in a sporting setting Promote Medical has allowed me to address the highly frustrating issues I felt limited my technical ability to care for my patients. Primarily it gave me freedom to devise solutions to issues I had previously found that limited my access to my emergency equipment in a logical and ordered manner.

So – job done? Well not quite yet – there is still another weak link in the chain.

So – heres a quick question – do you have any kit in your bag that is currently out of date?

I am going to take a punt and say that I think it is highly possible that you do!

I don’t believe that I have ever opened a medical sports bag and found otherwise. I have been to numerous stadia and again I do not recall ever finding everything to be in date in the medical cupboards I had access to.

Sounds a bit bonkers but its true and it happens for a reason. We are human and we get overloaded with tasks and we prioritise the immediately relevant things and put off others.

Emergencies are rare – the kit is used rarely ergo the kit is rarely checked.

In our bags there can be over 100 pieces of vital kit with more than 80 pieces having expiry dates that all differ from each other.

Now, in my ‘normal’ working hospital environment there is a system in place for daily checks to ensure all equipment is in date and drugs are routinely checked by 2 people prior to being administered. This is not a normal situation in sport so I wanted Promote Medical to address the issue of kit going out of date simply because despite my best efforts and multiple spreadsheets I just kept on finding expired kit in my own bags and watched as my colleagues repeatedly did exactly the same!

Having a Replenish & Replace Service that simply and efficiently removes the need for clinicians to check and replace equipment before it goes out of date makes sense. Having a system where your used kit is replaced within 48 hours if you use it in an emergency makes sense. Any expired kit can simply be used for training purposes and the new kit will also arrive 1 month before the old kit expires so there is never any hassle.

Is this a necessity or a luxury?

Only you can answer that for yourself but before you do answer me this:

“Do you have any kit in your bag that is currently out of date???”

Just asking!!

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