Essential Retrieval Medicine Toolkit

Australian retrieval medicine guru and Flying Doctor Dr Minh Le Cong sent me a copy of the ‘Prehospital Anaesthesia and Airway management Syllabus 2012’ that he’d authored, a thorough and evidence-based approach to airway management for practioners involved in pre-hospital care and critical care transport.
In the surgical airway section, Minh describes the use of ultrasound as an adjunct to the identification of the cricothyroid membrane. It includes this image of Minh ultrasounding his own neck in his office.

I couldn’t help but be distracted by an object on his desk, which on closer inspection, appears to be a rubber chicken.

I emailed Minh to find out about that chicken. He replied:

..even I did not pick that my rubber chicken was visible in the shot!

A great tip from an ex SAS soldier…always carry a rubber chicken into high stress, high risk situations. You would be surprised how well it works in defusing high tension, arguments and standoffs as well as personally allowing you to take a moment and ground yourself when the shit is flying.

The chicken comes with me, along with my king vision, portable USS and Leatherman Multitool and head torch.I used all of those items recently on the same patient!

Minh Le Cong
Medical Education Officer
RFDS Queensland Section

What are the essential items you have with you on every shift? Is your list anything like Minh’s Retrieval Toolkit?

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