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Coolers are to help in cardiac emergencies

Updated: October 14, 2013 8:25AM



CROWN POINT — Local paramedics can now use therapeutic hypothermia to assist non-responsive cardiac patients.

Under the direction of Dr. Stevan Vuckovic, D.O., the Franciscan Alliance St. Anthony Hospital in Crown Point’s EMS Medical Director District 1 Paramedics are being given a great new protocol for their service to the patients and the community in their aria of coverage.

A training session Oct. 3 led by Dr. Stevan Vuckovic, the emergency medical services medical director at Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point, reviewed the therapeutic hyperthermia protocol.

“People that have this have a greater chance of walking out of the hospital,” he said. “If we can get to somebody with defibrillation and a cool body, that will stop inflammatory cascade from happening. It diminishes the release of free radicals and saves the brain.”

The fluids have to be kept cold enough.

Packing on board the ambulance with ice does not guarantee a uniform temperature. Crown Point ambulances now have coolers the keep the fluids at a constant temperature.

Four $600 coolers were donated by Jeanne Anderson of Commercial Cooling & Heating.

Vuckovic said that Cedar Lake recently had a case of a man being able to walk out of the hospital, because of hyperthermia protocol.

“We, at hospital, have a vest we can put on the patient for 24 hours and then slowly re-warm the patient,” he said. He said cardiac patients are cooled about 5 degrees.

Vuckovic reminded the paramedics of the protocol. First disrobing the patient, followed by packing the groin and neck areas with ice and then using the cooled solution and IV tubes to produce the hyperthermia protocol.

The vest is just for use at the hospital. The machine that regulates the vest is too bulky in an ambulance.

Mark Baumgardner Sr. of the Crown Point Fire-Rescue Departemnt said that the ambulance coolers are set at 37.3 degrees and are up and running in three of the four Crown Point ambulances. They are electric and operate through the power in the ambulances.

Most other departments are using a cooler with ice bags to keep the tubing and solutions cold.



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