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September 18, 2011

Mass. fire department deploys new cardiac monitors

By John Collins
The Lowell Sun

HUDSON, N.H. — The Hudson Fire Department has placed into service three new integrated cardiac monitors and defibrillators.

Manufactured in Redmond, Wash., by the Physio-Control Corp., the "Lifepack 15" units are regarded as the latest in heart-monitoring technology, according to Capt.-Paramedic Steve Gannon.

The purchase of the Lifepack 15's was approved by a vote of Hudson residents at the last Town Meeting. Each of the Hudson Fire Department's three ambulances are now equipped with a Lifepack 15 monitor, Gannon reported.

"The units were delivered in mid-July, and our crew training started immediately," Gannon said. "The Lifepack 15's have replaced the older and less capable Lifepack 12 units, which had been used since 2002."

Primarily, Gannon said the new technology enables paramedics to monitor a patient's cardiac rhythm and vital signs, and quickly detect the presence of a heart attack. The units are equipped with an on-board modem that can instantly text a snapshot of a patient's heart rhythm to the hospital's emergency room in advance of the ambulance's arrival. Also, the Lifepack 15 units can monitor a patient's blood pressure, heart and respiratory rates, oxygen saturation, and measure levels of carbon-monoxide poisoning.

"This is a large step-up in diagnostic monitoring and treatment capability for the department," Gannon said.

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