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TVF&R gets new lifesaving devices

Cardiac monitors can transmit results from field to emergency room


by:  TVF&R - Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue deployed 46 Philips HeartStart MRx cardiac monitor/defibrillators to its paramedic fire engines, trucks and medic units.Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue last week added 46 new Philips HeartStart MRx cardiac monitor/defibrillators to its paramedic fire engines, trucks and medic units. These devices help emergency responders diagnose and start treating patients quickly, when every second counts.

The fire district was one of the first agencies to adopt Philips’ ALS monitor eight years ago and becomes the first fire department in the nation to use the device’s capability to wirelessly transmit EKG results from the field to the emergency room.

The new monitors enable firefighters and paramedics to assess patients for life-threatening heart conditions, provide gender-specific diagnostic criteria to enhance interpretation of cardiac symptoms in women and pinpoint culprit arteries that may be blocked. by: TVF&R - The devices are capable of wirelessly transmitting EKG results from the field to the emergency room.

Adding the potentially lifesaving equipment to fire district vehicles took place the same day cardiac patient and Wilsonville resident Bob Archer, a living testament to the effectiveness of wireless EKG transmission, reunited with the first-responders, doctors and nurses who saved his life during a May 5 heart attack.

Archer was walking his dog when he felt pain in his chest. The pain increased, and his left arm started to go numb. According to doctors, what Archer did next contributed to his positive outcome. Instead of driving himself to the emergency room like 80 percent of metro-area chest pain patients currently do, Archer decided to call 911.

“Since my wife was out of town, and I was home alone, I knew better than to try to drive myself to the emergency room. So I called 911 and took two Excedrin tablets. As it turns out, I was fortunate that she was not home because we may have decided that she drive me to the hospital,” Archer said.

Within minutes, firefighters and paramedics from TVF&R and paramedics from American Medical Response arrived and began medical care in Archer’s home.

Archer was hooked up to a 12-lead EKG monitor, which allowed first-responders to assess and begin treating his heart attack. His treatment continued on the way to Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center in Tualatin, where the EKG readings from Archer’s heart were wirelessly transmitted by AMR to emergency room staff and a cardiologist’s iPhone. Using wireless EKG transmission technology called LifeNet, which was implemented by Legacy Health in November, doctors developed a treatment plan and readied the hospital’s catheterization lab for Archer’s arrival.

The new cardiac monitors give TVF&R this same capability.

“When I arrived at the emergency room, they were ready to go to work,” Archer said. “The doctors explained the procedure they would perform to unblock my artery, and the next thing I knew, I was in recovery. The total time from my arrival at the emergency room to the completion of my procedure was just 51 minutes — incredible.”

Following his full recovery, Archer said the advantages to calling 911 versus driving yourself to the hospital are many. He urged others who experience heart attack symptoms, such as chest pain, to call 911.

“As I see it, the advantages to calling 911 versus driving yourself to the hospital are many. The paramedics can administer preliminary treatment, get a preliminary diagnosis, alert the hospital and get you to the hospital quickly and safely,” Archer said.




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