New Life Saving Equipment & Procedures
Beginning September 2012, all Hanover Park Fire Department ambulances will carry equipment in order to begin therapeutic hypothermia resuscitation. For the last four years, area hospitals have been using hypothermic treatment when a patient who was in cardiac arrest regains a pulse. Hypothermia is defined as a body temperature below 95 degrees. Studies have shown that the body recovers and heals better at lower temperatures.
Now our paramedics can begin this treatment before they arrive at the hospital. The equipment added to the ambulances is called a Chillcore™ case, which keeps the I.V. fluids at a constant temperature of 39 degrees. The treatment begins after the return of spontaneous circulation is achieved; the crew then begins IV lines of chilled saline and places ice packs around the body in key areas.
This controlled decline in body temperature after arrest has shown to provide a better outcome for the brain and other organs. In the future, similar treatment may be used for patients with suffering a spinal cord injury, cerebral vascular accident (stroke) or other traumatic injuries.
LUCAS Autopulse Device
The LUCAS™ device is designed to provide uninterrupted chest compression during cardiac arrest at a rate and depth recommended by the American Heart Association’s (AHA). This device has been proven to outperform medical personnel in achieving the AHA guidelines over the entire patient care episode. EMS provider safety is also improved by the use of the LUCAS™ device.
Recent studies have shown up to 62% of back injuries may be related to CPR delivery. In addition, the use of mechanical CPR decreases the risks associated with performing CPR in the back of a moving ambulance. The first generation of the LUCAS™ device was used in Europe in 2002, with its use in America beginning in 2007. Hanover Park is the first EMS provider in our region to implement the LUCAS™ device.
The Hanover Park Fire Department has recently introduced the GlideScope® for use when controlling a patient’s airway during an endotracheal intubation. Intubation is the action of placing a breathing tube into the trachea with the use of a laryngoscope. This equipment takes advantage of fiber-optic technology which allows for a video view of the patients airway during the procedure.
GlideScope® equipment has become the equipment of choice for controlling a difficult airway. Fiber-optic laryngoscopy has become increasingly available to pre-hospital providers and is becoming a standard of care in many EMS agencies across the nation; it is currently used in most operating rooms and emergency departments for its success rates with patients who are difficult to intubate. Current published studies show dramatic results for first time success when fiber-optic intubation equipment is used compared to the traditional method of direct laryngoscopy.
The complete line of equipment will allow usage for all patients from a newborn to the adult. Incorporated into the software package with the device is the ability to photograph a still image or record video of the entire procedure, which provides a timeline of a successful intubation to be part of our electronic documentation in the patient care record. The Hanover Park Fire Department is the first provider in our region to introduce this technology into the pre-hospital setting.