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State adds service to EMS protocol

By Staff
Melissa Cason
The Alabama Department of Public Health-EMS Trauma Division has passed new protocol to help emergency responders better help patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Congestive Heart Failure, Asthma and other serious respiratory disorders.
NorthStar Paramedic Services Manager Jeremy Glenn said the new protocol allows patients with serious respiratory diseases to get relief by using the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine in route to the hospital.
"Our CPAP equipment works similar to the CPAP machines used overnight with patients who have sleep apnea," Glenn said. "Our equipment connects to the oxygen supply available in our trucks."
Glenn said the new protocol always any paramedic or intermediate level emergency medical technician use the CPAP to help the patient better breathe.
"This is not unique to us [NorthStar]," Glenn said. "This is statewide."
Glenn said the new protocol is beneficial because the patient can get relief faster than before.
"Before all we had was the supplemental oxygen supplies," Glenn said. "The CPAP helps these patients breathe better faster."
Glenn said NorthStar's paramedics and intermediate EMTs were trained on the Oxygen Rescue System, manufactured by Pulmodyne, Thursday so they can begin using the equipment, and helping patients breathe easier.
"We had our training director come in and hold a workshop so that we could be up to speed on the new protocol," Glenn said.