New Device For State BLS - Station 48
Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The State of Delaware Emergency Medical Protocols has a Pilot Program for Basic Life Support Ambulances in the State. The Program is called: CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). In order for a fire departments Ambulance to use this CPAP device they must be selected by the State Medical Director. The Medical Director is responsible for directing, planning, and implementing all health related services. This device is commonly used for critically ill patients who are in respiratory distress or failure caused by Congestive Heart Failure. CPAP- lessens the excessive work of breathing in patients with respiratory distress. This results in fewer intubations of patients in the pre-hospital field, therefore, preventing a prolonged hospital stay. The overall design of the CPAP machine is simple. It consist of a mask that goes over the patients mouth and nose, a strap to hold the mask on, and tubes that connect to the main oxygen source. The patient inhales and oxygen flows and pressure is created. Once the patient exhales the oxygen, the oxygen flow stops, however, the pressure remains constant. This helps the patient who is in severe respiratory distress. Felton Community Fire Company, along with Camden, and Cheswold Fire Companies, along with Smyrna American Legion Ambulance has submitted request to be approved to use the device in Kent County.

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