By Monica Pryts/Staff Writer
Within the next few weeks, Superior Ambulance Service will be providing patients with some new equipment that has yet to make its way to other agencies.
Superior Ambulance, Pine Township, is the first emergency medical services agency in Pennsylvania to have the new Zoll X-Series cardiac monitor, which transmits patient information wirelessly from the ambulance to a hospital in an instant.
"It can be a matter of life and death," Calvin Woods, director of critical care at Superior, said of assessing the patient's needs as soon as possible.
Woods was on hand Monday when several Superior employees and Lynette Fair, clinical manager of the emergency department at Grove City Medical Center, Pine Township, were trained to use the new monitors.
"It's taking the country by storm," said Brandi L. Van Bourgondien, EMS territory manager for Zoll, Chelmsford, Mass., adding the Food and Drug Administration approved the new monitors a few months ago.
The cardiac monitors Superior currently uses are about five years old, weigh more, have a shorter battery life if not plugged in and take longer to turn out patient information.
"It's half the weight and half the size of what you're using," Van Bourgondien said, showing the group how to turn it out and print patient reports.
The monitor can take blood pressure readings, check heart rhythm and provide electric shocks to the heart, just a few of the critical measures EMS workers need to perform to determine what's wrong with a patient.
"We can check and see if they're having a heart attack," Woods said.
And instead of the EMS workers using a radio to verbally notify the hospital, the monitor will send the patient's information in 15 to 20 seconds to the emergency room staff, who can access the file via website and prepare for the ambulance's arrival.
"That's the biggest improvement," Woods said.
That feature also makes it easier for the ambulance crew and hospital staff to work as a team and start treating the patient without delay, Fair said.
"The physician can see sooner what's going on with the patient," she said.
Van Bourgondien took Fair's blood pressure, noting the cuffs come in 11 different sizes and results are delivered in 12 to 15 seconds.
"That was pretty fast," Fair said.
The monitors will be another tool to help EMS workers do their job with confidence and accuracy because the data is provided so quickly, said Doug Dick, EMS chief of Superior Ambulance, which servers parts of Mercer, Butler, Venango and Lawrence counties.
"It also has the ability of providing data during CPR that will improve the outcomes of patients in cardiac arrest by showing the depth, rate and effectiveness of chest compressions during CPR," he said.
In a cardiac emergency, "time is heart muscle," so the more time saved on getting a patient the proper treatment, the better, he said.
"We have always been proactive and a leader on cutting edge advancements with EMS care. This is just another commitment to all our patients," Dick said.
He hopes to have the five new monitors ready to go by mid-August.
Published Aug. 4, 2012, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.