Wednesday, August 10, 2022

New equipment improves Lethbridge EMS response for cardiac arrest, paediatric patients

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Two new pieces of equipment are improving Lethbridge paramedics’ response for pediatric and cardiac arrest patients. A mechanical device called Zoll Autopulse takes the human element out of CPR and provides perfect compressions every time, according to Mike Humphrey, EMS operations officer at Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services. This gives responders an opportunity to focus on other important tasks during a call and allows CPR to continue, even while moving a patient. 

“We are not task oriented, the machine is doing perfect CPR and we are able to really focus on caring for the family and finding those reversible causes,” Humphrey said.

Currently there is one device in service, but he said in the coming weeks, there will be one at each station in the city. Humphrey said the equipment is part of the standard response for cardiac arrest and having more will allow for faster response using it.

“We deliver this device to anybody that experiences a cardiac arrest within the city of Lethbridge and so far we have seen very exciting results and we are really seeing an increase in chance of survival,” he said.

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Medical training officer Adam Perrett shows off the Handtevy Mobile, which helps Lethbridge Fire and EMS respond to pediatric patients. (Photo by Tyler Hay)

The other new gear for the department is an app, which helps with medication administration, equipment preparation and education for pediatric patients. The department has been using Handtevy Mobile for about a month now, according to Adam Perrett, medical training officer. He said it makes a big difference for responses to pediatric calls.

“As we are enroute to a call, our members are able to pre plan what it is that they are going to do and the treatment plans that they are going to be able to come up with for our pediatric population,” Perrett said.

Lethbridge is the first municipality in Canada to have the app as part of emergency response. It was created by a Florida company and about 1,350 fire and EMS departments use it in the United States, according to Perrett.

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