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Roanoke Fire-EMS Acquires Two Zoll Ventilators

Roanoke Fire-EMS recently acquired two new Zoll Ventilators. Equipment that is new for Emergency Medical Services in the Roanoke Valley.

The compact transport ventilators are designed to provide ventilated support in respiratory emergencies. With this equipment EMS personnel can provide two necessary functions that benefit patients who are experiencing significant respiratory symptoms.

The ventilator can be used like a BIPAP machine – very similar to the sleep apnea machines that people use at home. BIPAP is a non-invasive treatment that buys providers time to allow medications to work in those patients suffering from COPD, asthma, and congestive heart failure.

Using this mode of the machine in combination with medication, can provide relief for the patient before intubation is necessary. For patients with these diseases, once on the ventilator, are very difficult to get off the ventilator at the hospital, which means longer admission stays. By cutting down on invasive treatments could mean a day or two in the hospital versus a week or more. Less time in the hospital with less treatments means cost savings and quicker recovery times for patients.

Second, if the patient is intubated, the ventilator allows us to customize ventilations to the patient’s specific needs. Taking into account the person’s air volume needs, medical history, and current issue to set the vent. Preventing injury to the lungs if oxygen is given to fast or by too much.

These ventilators will help treat and protect a patient’s air way better than EMS personnel have ever been able to before. Instead of a continuous force flow of air, this machine breathes with the patient. As the patient takes a breath, the ventilator assists them with the breath.

The new equipment will allow first responders to be able to bring more tools from the Emergency Room (ER)/Intensive Care Unit (ICU) directly to the patient.

The ventilators will be placed on each Rescue Supervisor vehicle within the City and operated by a select group of individuals that are trained in advanced practice paramedicine, in coordination with Roanoke EMS Operational Medical Director, Dr. Carol Bernier.

The City of Roanoke, City of Salem and Botetourt County have the capabilities to provide this advanced level of care throughout the Roanoke Valley’s respective jurisdictions and  are now able to cooperatively support each other in times of need.


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