Backboards are the direct recipient of whatever is oozing out of our patients. We get them from the hospital, and we try to pick backboards that don't have any obvious signs of contamination, so we don't have to clean them. These backboards were on my ambulance, ready to be used, at the beginning of my shift. Are you ready to play, "Blood, Poop, or Vomit?"...
Blood, Poop, or Vomit??? This is the area where a patient would lay his head (above).
Blood pressure cuffs get cleaned about once every few days, maybe, and every time we use them on someone REALLY bloody. Other than that, when an EMT puts a blood pressure cuff on you, you're essentially sticking your arm into a petri dish containing body fluid samples from every hobo that has worn that cuff over the past few days. Even when they do get cleaned, it's not exactly a thorough cleaning. The same is true for stethescopes, pulse oximeters, and all the vital-taking equipment at the hospital. I mean, why would WE want to clean this stuff, it's not like this equipment has to touch OUR skin, just YOURS.
Does it make you feel good that EMT's wear gloves? Have you ever thought about all the things EMT's touch, with their gloves ON, that have already been contaminated by some other loser? The reason most EMT's religiously wear gloves is to protect THEMSELVES from you and all the contamination in the back of the ambulance. They touch all the stuff in the back of the ambulance, which has been contaminated by every variety of dung-covered loser you could ever imagine, then they touch YOU.
This keyboard LOOKS innocent, but it's really a breeding ground for every pathogen known to science. Sure, we have our gloves on when we touch it, but then we touch YOU.
I'd rather lick the anus of a dead possum than touch this knob with my bare hands.
These straps have exchanged more body fluids than Wilt Chamberlain.
This IV hanger has never been cleaned; I triple your money back guarantee it. Imagine the lush tropical forest of filth growing on that thing.
Look at this little gem I found in the back of the ambulance. It's a fork with food hanging off of it. Not only will you be contaminated by all the hobos that have ever ridden back here, you'll also enjoy the contamination of the EMT's saliva and trichinosis covered fork.
Here's some goop and sludge hiding on the floor, around the stretcher retainer. It looks like it's probably just some human scabs and some roach poo.
Here's a little more tape residue, which has the ability to collect 400x its mass in human DNA. Which combination of body fluids do you think have to mix together to create the color black?
So...the next time you think the ambulance might be a nice, convenient way to safely get your mother to the hospital, consider the fact that the clowns on the ambulance couldn't care less about your mother's health, they probably don't have anything to give your mother to improve her health or comfort, the ride is about as pleasant as a bicycle with no seat, and most importantly, climbing into an ambulance is like swimming in a septic tank with open wounds. Save your mom the hassle, instead of calling her an ambulance, just stand above her and defecate in her trach tube, then go hook her feeding tube up to her colostomy bag.