FARMINGTON -- Davis County is taking advantage of trading in its older model LifePak for a newer model not only to save money but to save lives.
The LifePak15 cardiac monitor/defibrillator will replace the LifePak 12, which the county has used for the past 15 years, said Sheriff's Capt. Arnold Butcher.
When paramedics go on a medical call, they end up using the machines from Physio-Control about 75 percent of the time. They get 10 to 12 medical calls a day, Butcher said.
A person who is having heart problems, whether it is a 90-year-old woman or a 5-year-old boy, is hooked up to the machine. Once it is turned on, the machine begins sending data to one of the local hospitals.
"It saves time, and we say, 'time is muscle' and the more heart muscle you save, the better," Sheriff's Sgt. Dan Yeaman said.
McKay-Dee Hospital and Ogden Regional Medical Center, both in Ogden, and Davis Hospital have the same system, so the medical staff can see what the paramedics are seeing. And if a person is in need of immediate medical attention to his heart, the hospital staff is ready, Butcher said.
Butcher said because of the machine's capabilities, when paramedics bring a person to a hospital with a heart problem, they go straight to the catheter lab and skip the emergency room.
The LifePak 15 brings new bells and whistles that will improve a person's survival chances, too, Butcher said.
"The biggest push right now is to keep doing CPR on a person," Butcher said.
With the older model, paramedics have to stop CPR to see what the machine says the heart is doing. The newer models have the ability to allow "see-through CPR," Butcher said. That means paramedics can continue doing CPR while the machine tells them what the heart is doing.
Also it will allow paramedics to change the screen, so they can see what is on it no matter how dark or light. Bright lights tend to wash out the screen on the older models.
Butcher said the new machine will also let paramedics know if "there is any disrhythm" to the heart, even if the patient doesn't show any signs of heart problem when paramedics first arrive.
Deputy Chief Kevin Fielding said Tuesday the machine is one of the "most expensive pieces of equipment" paramedics use.
"But if it saves one life, it is worth it," Fielding said.
The county commission approved a contract with U.S. Bank Equipment to lease 18 of the LifePak 15 machines. The county already owns two of the new machines.
The county will pay $484,935.50 over five years to lease the machines, said Curtis Koch, the county's chief deputy of audit and finance. The amount includes annual maintenance on all the machines. At the end of five years, the county can buy the machines at $1 a piece.
Butcher said by upgrading the machines now, the county can trade in the older models and receive a discount. Also, the company told the county it plans to no longer do maintenance on the LifePak12 and is phasing them out.
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