The New Castle County Paramedics are deploying new cardiac monitors to all paramedic units through a $1.6 million capital project. The monitor/defibrillator/pacemaker devicesreplace older model equipment that was originally purchased in 1998.
“This is probably the piece of equipment that is most frequently used by our paramedics,” said County Executive Thomas P. Gordon. “Upgrading their medical equipment and giving them themost modern tools to do their job will allow them to continue to save lives.”
The new devices can simultaneously monitor several vital signs including heart rhythm, heart rate,blood pressure, oxygen levels and temperature. The device can also be used to deliver an electricalshock, or defibrillate, as well as electrically pace a patient’s heart. Since 1998, the New CastleCounty Paramedics have performed 12-lead electrocardiograms (ECG) to identify patients havingheart attacks and have pre-alerted hospital resources to expedite their care.
“The new cardiac monitors will allow paramedics to evaluate cardiac patients and perform a 12-leadECG. The ability of our paramedics to interpret the ECG quickly and accurately has allowed ourhospital systems to activate their cardiac catheterization lab prior to patient arrival”, said Dr. RobertRosenbaum, medical director for New Castle County from the state Office of Emergency MedicalServices. “This shortens the time needed to provide treatment and get blood flowing through ablocked artery in the heart more quickly. The new monitors will improve this process even further.”
Emergency Medical Services Division Chief Lawrence Tan said he was grateful for the support ofthe Department of Public Safety by County Executive Gordon and his ongoing commitment thatCounty personnel had all the tools necessary to do their jobs well.
“The New Castle County Paramedics provide a critical service that can significantly impact thequality of life of those that become suddenly ill or injured”, Chief Tan said. “The new equipmentwill enable us to maintain our commitment to service excellence and allow the paramedics tocontinue to deliver high quality patient care.”