Cook County MN – Automated External Defibrillator Vital

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Cardiac Care
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Tofte Fire Ems Seeks New AED

COOK COUNTY – Tofte Fire/EMS is in need of a new Automated External Defibrillator (AED); a 12-lead LIFEPAK 15 to be exact! AEDs are critical for improving survival rates related to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of global mortality, accounting for almost 17 million deaths annually – 31 percent of all deaths. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of SCAs happen outside the hospital.

An AED detects lethal heart rhythms which stop the heart from pumping effectively and then allows a rescuer to deliver a measured shock to revert these rhythms, so the heart can pump effectively again.

Why are AEDs critical?

  1. An AED is the only method available to revert lethal cardiac arrest rhythms
  2. Statistically, for every minute lost without defibrillation, you lose 10% probability of saving a life (With good CPR you can extend this by several more minutes!)
  3. With bystander intervention and treatment with an AED, the survival triples to 31.4 percent
  4. To date, the AEDs used by Cook County’s various emergency response units, ambulances, the hospital and other publicly available AEDs are not all compatible. Meaning if you applied the leads from one AED and then transfer the patient, and they need defibrillation again, you may need to waste precious time reapplying new leads and start from scratch; in short, not all machines work together. Emergency Management, our various Emergency Response Departments and Medical Directors are now working together to change that.

This year, Tofte Fire/EMS (which responds to much of the west end of the County through mutual aid agreements) will need to replace their current AED and to be proactive, they’ve selected the 12-lead LIFEPAK 15 (LP 15). The LP 15 is totally compatible with the Cook County North Shore Health Ambulance’s equipment who switched to the new LP15 in the primary ambulance over a year ago and just recently replaced the other two old LP 12s with the new LP 15s. It is a very useful piece of equipment, as it can help regulate oxygen and blood pressure, gives the trained volunteers the ability to do a 12-lead EKG tracing and transmit the results directly to the North Shore Hospital. The Emergency Room Doctor can look at the EKG and either give additional instructions for care or at the very least be aware of the cardiac patient’s condition, along with the verbal report, upon arrival.

The cost of the unit is $35,000. Tofte Volunteer FD/EMS has $10,000 lined up and is exploring a five-year payment program to be able to purchase it this spring, but community donations would help secure this life-saving technology sooner and more affordable. If you’d like to make a donation, contact Tofte EMS Chief Kim Jahnke or mail to Tofte EMS, PO Box 2293, Tofte, MN 55615.

If you’d like to learn more, an AED demonstration will be held on Monday, April 8, at 6 pm, at the Tofte Fire/EMS Hall. All are welcome.

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