Let's start with our newest machine, the Philips 12 Lead. A few years ago I applied for a grant through the American Heart Association. We weren't selected in round 1, but we got the approval in round 2! In October our group received training on how to use our newest machine.
There, a doctor will read the results, and that will determine the rest of your protocol. Minutes are muscle, and if you are having a heart attack, you will be whisked right from the ambulance into their procedure room. They will be ready for you, and save those valuable minutes. This is a big deal, a lifesaving deal.
At first glance, the machine is intimidating. Turns out, it's very easy to use. Everyone was a little nervous pulling it out of the box but it's a very user friendly machine.
Our medical director is also wonderful because of the lifesaving medications he allows us to carry. We are a Basic Life Support service which means we are only required to do the basics. We can apply for variances to carry additional lifesaving medications, and our medical director has pushed us to do that. It does require extra training, and the medications are expensive, but they are worth the peace of mind. Imagine your nephew is visiting, has a peanut allergy, and eats a brownie with nuts. We carry an epi-pen, and not all ambulance services do that. One simple medication can open his airway, and save his life. We can give glucagon to diabetic patients, nitroglycerin to heart patients, and nebulizers for breathing problems. When you live 50 miles from a trauma center, these medications are critical. Taking time on a Saturday for training is worth the peace of mind. Thanks to Mark for pushing us to be more than a Basic Life Support service.
The flight paramedic, nurse and pilot brought pizza to our meeting, a sure way to win over our hearts. The firemen and SVAS members learned how to set up landing areas and when to use a med flight.
We have used Sanford Air Med in the past, and this is just one more option available to use if we feel the patient needs extra care.