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New monitor could be a lifesaver

    In an effort to help save more lives, Rural Metro, a 911 emergency provider for Shelby County, is upgrading the current 911 system with the implementation of Physicontrol's Lifepack 15 cardiac monitors.

    The monitor gives EMS crews in the field an in-depth look at the heart with 12-lead capabilities or an opportunity to look at the heart from 12 different angles and help paramedics recognize the most serious conditions.

    According to Katherine Kam, a reporter for WebMD, research shows heart attacks spike during the holiday season, with one circulation study concluding that "The number of cardiac deaths is higher on Dec. 25 than on any other day of the year, second highest on Dec. 26, and third highest on Jan. 1."

    When dealing with cardiac problems, often when in transit from the original point of origin to the hospital via ambulance, the difference between life and death is what happens during the first part of an onset.

    "We're focusing on trying to save lives from the moment we arrive on the scene, because we know that every second counts," said Glenn Miller, division general manager. "Recognition in the field is key to getting the life-saving care needed at the hospital."

    Once a patient is placed on a monitor, the information seen by the crew can be transmitted immediately to the hospital. The early recognition and transmission allows doctors and nurses in the hospital to activate cardiologists and cardiac teams that are literally waiting for the patients to get to initiate invasive care.

    "This can cut valuable time opening patients' occluded arteries, which can prevent further tissue and muscle damage and give patients an opportunity to fully recover," said Miller.

    The Lifepack 15 also adds key performance indicators for crews to see immediate feedback on how their interventions and treatments are having an overall effect on the patient in several ways:

    • Waveform technology gives crews a look at how effective CPR and chest compressions are being performed, helping to make sure CPR is consistent and effective as outlined by the American Heart Association guidelines;
    • It relays an audible beat to allow first responders and EMS professionals to administer chest compressions at the correct speed;
    • Capnogrophy monitors intubation and ventilations to the patient and continuous 12-lead monitoring and alerts the paramedic of any cardiac changes.

    All LP15s are equipped with blood pressure and pulse ox monitoring.

    For more information, visit Rural Metro's website at

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