Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lakeside Paramedics Now Have a Powerful Tool in Cardiac Care

Lakeside EMS-

In the mid-1970’s when the Lakeside and Santee Fire agencies rolled out the paramedic program you had to be an accomplished weight lifter just to get the equipment in the door. Between a radio that felt like it had a car battery in it, and a monitor-defibrillator, which was the size of a medium suit case, paramedics found themselves using equipment that had not been well designed for field use. But through design change, and technology, the equipment slowly became smaller in size but yet more powerful in the information it provided the paramedic team.

In the 1970's this was state of the art in cardiac care.
 Over the past two decades there has been a quantum change in how paramedics treat suspected heart related emergencies in the field. Over time the treatment has been streamlined to provide aggressive initial care coupled with rapid transport to an appropriate facility.

But as treatment guidelines changed the industry was challenged to produce a device that would meet the constantly evolving guidelines for cardiac care. These devices had to be extremely portable and provide a broad array of informational feedback on the condition of the patient. Plus this new device had to possess the ability to relay information to the hospital where doctors could begin the task of outlining a plan of care once the patient arrived at the hospital.

Recently the Lakeside Fire Protection District purchased eleven of the most advanced cardiac monitor/defibrillators available in the marketplace. The Zoll X-Series represents a blend of technology with functionality. When applied to the patient it can provide a limitless amount of information to first responders during field treatment.

The Zoll X-Series arrive at Lakeside River Park Station. (Photo By: Bernie Molloy)

As a cardiac monitor the Zoll X-Series can monitor simple cardiac rhythms. But this monitor also possesses the ability to obtain a complex 12-lead EKG where advanced processors can analyze the rhythm and provide important information to the paramedics.If there is a high degree of suspicion that the patient is suffering a heart attack the paramedics can activate a link between the monitor and the hospital. Utilizing WiFi technology the monitor talks with the engine company, or paramedic unit, which serves as a WiFi hotspot. By utilizing the apparatus as the WiFi access points the Lakeside Fire District was able to reduce costs by using a single provider for data services.

Once the data is received at the hospital it can be forwarded to the doctors wireless devices where they can see the actual 12 lead EKG, and receive information about the patient they are about to treat.

As a defibrillator the X-Series provides hands-off defibrillation through the use of specialized adhesive pads. These pads can also be used to detect cardiac activity, and in the event that the heart rate is too slow it can provide external cardiac pacing.
Firefighter-Paramedic Jon Jordan with the new Zoll X-Series on Medic 3 (Lake Jennings Fire Station)
In addition the X-Series can monitor the amount of oxygen in your blood stream, and the amount of carbon dioxide in your expired breath. These are two very important pieces of information when treating cardiac arrest victims. These devices will even obtain a blood pressure and record the information for later documentation.

These new monitors give EMS crews a whole new set of tools in treating cardiac related incidents. All Lakeside medic units, and engine companies, have the new generation monitors.

Submitted By: Fire Fighter-Paramedic Jon Jordan, Lakeside Fire District

Story Contributors: Division Chief Jim Kirkpatrick, Fire Captain Bernie Molloy, Fire Captain Mark Grow

1 comment:

  1. That top photo is such Squad 51