EXCLUSIVE: medics take part in first cadaver lab in area for EMS

GLASGOW, Ky. – It is common for medical personnel to practice on cadavers, but for EMT’s and paramedics, the opportunity to practice on a real body is extremely uncommon.

The Barren-Metcalfe and Hart County Emergency Medical Services took part in a cadaver lab at the T.J. Health Pavilion.

Executive Director for both EMS teams, Joe Middleton, says this lab is only one of its kind in the area for EMT’s and paramedics to attend.

“This type of lab actually gives them the training and the experience to do these types of procedures on human tissue versus the typical plastic mannequin plastic airways. So this opportunity should very well enlighten or advance their career and enlighten them on the differences in working on a human body,” said Middleton.

Paramedics say it is likely a once in a lifetime experience for those in attendance.

Medical responders were able to practice intubating the cadavers and learned a new technique, a finger thoracostomy, which can help decompress tension from a lung.

“That’s something you couldn’t replicate on a mannequin at all. Even some places will use a pack of ribs from the grocery store and try to, but still, it’s not anything close to the same. So, it’s a really nice hands-on experience and if and when I do it in the field, I feel like this will have better prepared me for something like that,” said Tyler Beauchamp, Hart County paramedic.

Middleton hopes to be able to work toward further training for his medics in hopes of providing helicopter level care.

“A lot of these skills being performed have historically been performed in the scope of the helicopter EMS industry. We are advancing forward with ground services so that we are providing the same level of care that can be provided in the back of a helicopter,” said Middleton.

The difference then would not be level of care but instead only the speed of the transportation.

The lab will continue Friday until noon.