Airon CPAP Device Proven to Save Lives

It’s only a year that Magnolia Hospital EMS in Corinth, MS, has been using CPAP for its most severe respiratory distress patients, but, according to EMS Director Mike Lutz, it’s already proved to be a lifesaver. “One incident that stands out was a call for a lady with oxygen saturation in the 70s at a local pulmonology clinic,” he recalls. “She was on 2 liters of oxygen and in severe respiratory distress. When we came in, we told the pulmonologist we had CPAP available, and he said, ‘Let’s use it.’ By the time we arrived at the hospital, the lady pulled the mask aside and told the crew, ‘Thank you for saving my life.’”

A year ago, CPAP was a completely new technology for his system, says Lutz, but they wanted to provide the best care for their patients and knew CPAP was the way to go. “We nixed the disposable devices really quickly,” he says. “Then we looked at oxygen consumption, ease of use and benefit to the patient and chose the Airon model. We have six ambulances and there’s one on each ambulance. I just looked at my database, and we’ve used CPAP 30 times in 11 months, mostly in the winter and fall because the COPD and emphysema patients have more trouble when the weather gets colder.”

There was very little learning curve, says Lutz. A rep from D&D Medical, who sold the device, held an in-service for all of the paramedics and the hospital education department, which will train new paramedics on it. “It’s simple to operate and makes a world of difference,” Lutz says. “More than anything, patients are arriving here in much better shape than they were in the past. Normally, patients with severe respiratory distress would be intubated and put on a ventilator upon arrival to the ER. Now, even before they go upstairs, they’re often off CPAP and on regular oxygen. All of our medical control doctors, and everyone else, are really excited about this technology, and we look forward to using it because we know we can make such a big difference with our patients’ outcome.”