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MEDIC outfits all ambulances with new, faster cardiac monitors

The monitors will essentially be used for every patient and will help paramedics work faster.

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — Mecklenburg County EMS recently made a major upgrade to its equipment by adding new heart monitors in all of its ambulances, allowing paramedics to make every second count in a life-or-death situation. 

Paramedics will now turn on the state-of-the-art machines for practically every call they go on, either to monitor a patient's blood pressure and pulse, or an EKG during a cardiac episode. Medic officials said this will allow first responders to be faster when it matters most. 

Crews said Mecklenburg County was due for an upgrade with their current equipment falling behind the latest standard.

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“We use them all the time, so it was very important that whatever device we went with would be reliable, easy to use and easy to train," Medic crew chief Drew Williams said. 

Every ambulance now has one new cardiac monitor, which does everything the old ones did but with more effiency. The new units can send real-time data through the cloud, allowing hospital systems to see exactly what's happening with a patient who may be on the way to the emergency room. 

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“Let’s say it’s an atypical cardiac arrest and we need some help or need some consultation on what to do next," Williams said. "Instead of having to explain all of this over the radio, they can just pull it up and see everything we've done on that monitor. Every defibrillation, every time we've started and stopped CPR, every time we've checked for a pulse."

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The monitors also collect performance data, providing the agency with important feedback and highlighting training opportunities.

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“When we start noticing trends, we can issue education," Williams said. "When it looks like as an agency, our compression rate is getting a little too fast or it's getting a little too slow."

Medic has some of the best cardiac survival rates in the county. Williams said these new machines will help continue that trend. 

Contact Chloe Leshner at cleshner@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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