Idaho EMS Employ ZOLL Autopulse CPR Device
Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Moscow, Idaho
Mar. 8—It is rare that someone in need of medical attention conveniently falls or loses consciousness in a wide-open space.
More often than not, EMTs and paramedics are often asked to perform life-saving measures in tight areas, like bathrooms or the back of an ambulance.
Moscow EMS Coordinator Pam Rogers said EMTs and paramedics are trained to work in such spaces, but that does not mean it is easy.
On Feb. 27, the Moscow EMS Division received a ZOLL Autopulse machine—a portable device that does CPR compressions on a patient while EMTs and paramedics work to stabilize the person. Rogers said the new technology can be conveniently carried like a backpack, and it will help resolve some of the issues paramedics and EMTs face when trying to perform CPR in tight areas.
Rogers said there are typically three to five people in the back of an ambulance on any given call, and they all have to find a way to work around each other and a spiderweb of cords while transporting patients.
One of the benefits of the Autopulse machine is that it allows medical staff to remain seated and out of the way of others working in a moving ambulance.
For the average person, each Autopulse battery can sustain compressions for approximately 40 minutes, and two batteries are always on hand. The department purchased four batteries for the machine and can theoretically continue CPR for more than two-and-a-half hours during a long transport or if they are unable to leave the scene of the accident.
The best CPR is always done at the scene, EMS Division Chief Debby Carscallen said, and the faster CPR is administered, the higher the likelihood the patient will survive.
The Autopulse machine also has the ability to continue performing CPR while the patient is carried out of a tight area, down stairs or into an ambulance. Without it, CPR compressions would have to cease until the patient is placed in the ambulance.
The Autopulse machine will be permanently kept in the EMS first response vehicle, which is shared between all seven of the department's paramedics. At any given time, the paramedic on staff has access to the machine.
Carscallen said the Moscow EMS division is working on meeting all of the outlying agencies and Gritman Emergency Room staff to show them how to use the device.
Carscallen said eventually she would like to see each of the department's ambulances equipped with an Autopulse machine, but that will take time. Each ZOLL Autopulse machine costs about $15,000, and the compression bands can also only be used once and each replacement band costs about $300, Carscallen said.
Despite its expense, Rogers said the device will be invaluable in keeping EMS staff safe during transports and administering CPR to patients as quickly and consistently as possible.