Every day people face critical care situations and are in desperate need for prompt medical care. Although you might think of your local hospital and the care they provide, many life-saving treatments occur before patients ever reach the hospital. Improvements in paramedicine can give even the most critical cases hope for survival.
Air ambulances improve response time in situations where transport by motor vehicle is impossible or would be significantly delayed—for example, critical cases that occur in rural areas or obscure locations, such as deep in the forest or along treacherous terrain. Even in urbanized areas, incidents may occur on the highway in the middle of gridlock. Just a small patch of stable ground might be enough for a helicopter to land and transport a critically ill patient. Many air ambulances a staffed by first responders, nurses, and/or doctors who are capable of administering life-saving care while en-route to a hospital. Additionally, air ambulances are able to transport critically ill patients from the scene of an incident or a hospital to a facility that is better able to handle their unique needs, such as trauma or burn centers. A quick flight staffed by people who are able to manage a patient who might have unstable vitals increases the likelihood that the patient can be transported safely.
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is one of the most significant inventions in recent years, especially since they can be found in ambulances and even shopping malls. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of mortality. Even with the best of care, most people do not survive if they go into cardiac arrest. The availability of an AED increases the chances of restarting the heart, improving the odds of survival over manual chest compressions alone. Since the device is automated, it is much easier for someone to use the device correctly.
The device can identify lack of a heart rhythm or an abnormal heart rhythm and make the judgment call when or if a patient needs defibrillation. An AED's use extents beyond those who are in cardiac arrest. Some types of abnormal heart rhythms require cardioversion to try and encourage the heart to beat normally. Without access to an external defibrillation device, cardioversion could not be done outside of the hospital, possibly wasting precious time and increasing the chance of a patient's heart stopping. Depending on the capabilities of an ambulance and the tools they have on board, paramedics may be able to cardiovert patients while they are en-route to the hospital.
Contact a company like Rescue AED LLC to learn more about AEDs.
Automatic Chest Compression Systems
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) saves lives, but chest compressions are not always done correctly. Additionally, even the most experienced person cannot perform chest compression perfectly and indefinitely. The use of an automatic chest compression system can eliminate this variable when performing CPR. When an AED is not successful in restoring a heart beat, it is imperative to perform chest compressions. CPR can possibly encourage the heart to start beating again, and it also manually pumps blood throughout the body. When combined with mechanical ventilation, the process can buy time before significant or irreparable brain damage is certain.
An automatic chest compression system has a partial back board, which is placed under the patient's back to add support. In the case of conventional CPR, trying to do chest compression on a soft surface can render the compressions ineffective. Additionally, the chest compression system automatically adjusts the depth of compression based on the size of the patient. Forceful, deep compressions are programmed to occur at regular intervals, which means the patient receives the optimal chest compressions. With the automatic chest compression system, the patient can receive consistent chest compressions from the time they are contacted by paramedical professionals, throughout their arrival at the emergency room, without missing a beat.
A state-of-the-art hospital means little if critically ill patients do not make it there alive. Advances in paramedicine mean even the most serious cases have a better chance of recovery.