Airon 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.”
Warm Fluids a Must for Patients in Cold Conditions
Some things are best served cold. Blood isn’t one of them.
California Shock Trauma Air Rescue (CALSTAR) Chief Flight Nurse Bryan Pond sees a lot of cold conditions operating in South Lake Tahoe. And cold patients. Which is why he’s a fan of the Thermal Angel fluid warming device available from Bound Tree Medical.
“It becomes a matter of needing to get these patients warmed up, especially when we’re on the ski slopes, people have had an accident and they’ve been on the snow for a little bit,” Pond says. “They can be rather cold by the time we pick them up. So we need a way to [actively] warm them up as opposed to simply relying on passive re-warming. And this is a really good product for doing that.”
The Thermal Angel is an in-line, battery-powered disposable, lightweight and completely portable blood and IV fluid warming device, capable of intravenous application and irrigation warming. Notably, the Thermal Angel can be used to help prevent fluid-induced hypothermia.
“We’re able to give warm blood [and IV fluid] products to patients during transfer which is huge, as opposed to [just saying], ‘Here’s a bunch of cold blood, I hope it doesn’t screw you up too bad,’ ” Pond explains.
Pond says the Thermal Angel is extremely effective, allowing him to administer fluids to hypothermic patients who may be in rigor or shaking because they’re so cold. He can give them warm fluid and they begin to relax and feel much better almost immediately.
Since the Thermal Angel is elegantly simple, there are no knobs, settings or switches. An experienced user can set up the Thermal Angel in a matter of seconds. And because the Thermal Angel is a portable, battery-powered single patient device, there are no additional costs due to patient movements throughout the continuum of care.