Durham County (N.C.) EMS Fields Improved Cardiac Care Technology

Beginning today, Durham County Emergency Medical Services paramedics will take to the streets with a new cardiac monitor that will enhance the care provided to patients with heart-related medical problems – the Zoll X-Series cardiac monitor/defibrillator. 

These new devices combine the capabilities of the traditional cardiac monitor/defibrillator with advanced 12-lead electrocardiogram capabilities, cardiac pacing, and physiologic monitoring — oxygen saturation, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide levels, blood pressure, pulse, and temperature. The X-Series features ZOLL’s full suite of CPR assist tools for real-time CPR feedback and See-Thru CPR artifact filtering to help minimize the length of pauses in chest compressions, thus improving the chances of successful resuscitation after a cardiac arrest outside the hospital.

“The X-Series has every advanced clinical monitoring and communication capability required by EMS providers and, ultimately, critical care transport operations,” said Steve Barmach, M.D., associate medical director for Durham County EMS and a Duke emergency physician. “It allows our medics to bring the latest diagnostic capability to the patient’s side, and then to quickly transmit that information to the hospital so that specialty services can be ready and waiting when our patient arrives at the hospital.”

The X-Series is the first and only EMS monitor/defibrillator that can communicate via Bluetooth, WiFi, or USB cellular modem. Streaming data can be sent to hospitals or clinicians at remote locations while EMS medics are caring for patients. For STEMI (acute heart attack) patients, these monitors are designed to speed “door-to-balloon times” at the hospital with quick and accurate 12-lead acquisition, interpretation, and transmission.

The X-Series is about half the size and half the weight of competitive full-featured monitor/defibrillators, yet much more powerful and built to the most extensive standards for ruggedness. The new units, which weigh less than 12 pounds, will help to reduce the load that paramedics must carry on an emergency call. “The improved units will further contribute to our efforts to lighten the load — up to 80 pounds of equipment, medications, and other necessities — that our paramedics must bring to the patient’s side, thereby reducing the likelihood of injury,” according to Durham County EMS Director Skip Kirkwood.  “This package is a win for everyone — the patients, the paramedics, and the community.”

These devices were purchased with a one-time $983,765 appropriation from the Community Health Trust Fund, authorized by the Durham Board of County Commissioners in the county’s fiscal year 2015 budget.

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