Friday, February 24, 2012

Placing a 15 Lead Monitor/Defibrillator Into Service at Your Fire Department or Ambulance Company

Placing a 15 Lead Monitor/Defibrillator into Service at your Fire Department or Ambulance Company

In a perfect world, no Fire Department or Ambulance Company should be without a 15 Lead Monitor/Defibrillator. This equipment saves lives and is integral to victim survival. It is in fact the established standard in emergency care for Advanced Life Support (ALS) teams.

The older 12-lead monitor units are no longer state of the art and they do not offer all of the life-saving technology that is available in the 15 lead unit that is available today. They do not have ability to monitor End-tidal CO2 (EtCO2) for both intubated and non-intubated patients, SpO2, Carbon Monoxide and Methemoglobinability and Glucose monitoring. Without these monitoring abilities it is possible for ambulance or ALS personnel to get dangerous false reads. For example, a paramedic may incorrectly conclude that a patient is suffering cardiac complication verses a diabetic one. Treatment for these conditions are very different and the wrong treatment can be disastrous.

The new 15 lead units have 15 available leads and include a metronome to guide CPR compressions and ventilations. Energy is available up to 360J. They have both semi-automated and manual defibrillation with capnography, external pacing, 15-lead electrocardiography and other monitoring functions.

Older units have display screens on the units that are often become difficult to read, especially in bright sunlight. Screen information display is vital to decision making on the part of the attendant. Mistakes must be avoided as the new units will possess currently available technology.

New models all are bluetooth enabled and can transmit critical data to the receiving hospital; the hospital would be ready and able to immediately take the true STEMI into the catherization lab and eliminate a possible 15-30 minute hospital delay for the victim.

A 15-lead cardiac monitors with EKG/AED with set-up assistance and warranty should cost about $28,000.

It is important to note that all data collected regarding a patient or victim is automatically transmitted to the appropriate hospital where we are transporting said patient. This feature is extremely important as it affects the level of care that the patient will subsequently receive. Paramedics will be automatically informing the host hospital every detail about the patient, yet they will not have to take valuable time and effort away from the patient in order to do so. This is extremely important, especially if a hospital is far in proximity.

The monitors will improve the efficiency of any operation by increasing the number of diagnostic tools that can provide better patient care.