PHA Ambulance Services Getting Almost Half a Million Dollars in Equipment

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A red letter day in health-care as today the public health system becomes the first in the region to introduce the ZOLL X (10) Series Cardiac Monitor and ZOLL Auto Pulse. The emergency medical technology which comes with a price tag of almost four hundred thousand dollars ($400,000.00) is expected to significantly improve the delivery of care for critical emergency cases. Minister of Health Dr. the Honourable Duane Sands described the achievement as ‘personal and special’ one harkening back to when he served as the country’s first Director of NEMS (National Emergency Medical Services). “For me this is personal to see how far EMS has come, and to know that we have invested significantly in the tools needed for them to continue the incredible work that they do.” Dr. Sands said notwithstanding many of the challenges endured by First Responders during the discharge of their duties, they continue to maintain a level of professionalism that must be applauded.

He added, “Giving them the opportunity to be able to impact the lives of those in medical distress is what we ought to be doing, and so
we have spent nearly $400,000 on this equipment and we will spend more if it means that it is going to improve patient outcomes.”
Describing what he terms a quiet storm of activity throughout the Ministry of Health, Minister Sands said, “Behind the scenes there is a lot of fundamental groundwork, building up from the ground, in order to effect fundamental change. I have no question that we are building the best healthcare system in the Caribbean.” Calling it a huge advancement for emergency services in the country, Director of NEMS Dr. Alvery Hanna said the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) is the first to introduce this level of medical technology. “The X Series Monitor is particularly designed to work in the ambulance and the auto-pulse is a mechanical automated chest compression device that administers CPR at the prescribed rate and depth according to best practices and the guidelines of the American Heart Association,” she said. Dr. Hanna further noted that the devices will enhance safety for staff, “For proper hand placement (during chest compressions) staff would have to be standing in the moving ambulance and that is of course a challenge, and there is of course the challenge of fatigue. So with the use these automated devices those challenges would be eliminated.”

PHA Deputy Managing Director, Lyrone Burrows did not shy away from the price tag for the new system stating that “the PHA strategically looked at the purchase as a capital investment for and on behalf of the
Bahamian People, and one that would greatly enhance the best outcomes for our emergency cases.” Burrows also spoke to the deployment of the new equipment, noting that two of the auto-pulse devices would be deployed to NEMS stationed in Grand Bahama and one device would be deployed to Abaco. Of the seven auto-pulse devices that will be deployed to ambulances in New Providence, he added one will be assigned to an ambulance serving Paradise Island.
“The equipment is very popular in the US, Europe and Latin America, but for the Caribbean, the Bahamas is the first country to have the Auto-Pulse and X Series working together,” said Representative from ZOLL, Mr. Paul Vasquez, “The X Series and the Auto-Pulse are two systems that provide the high quality CPR that the AHA (American Heart Association) guidelines require.

That means that you will be able to provide high-quality CPR, improving survival rates and outcomes are going to be better. People will be able to go back to work in a week, continue spending time with their families and return to the lives they had before their medical situation.” Michele Rassin-Moodie, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Ports International, noted that the company was proud to be part of the project. “We always provide quality equipment and initiatives for the Bahamas to improve services and provide best practices in healthcare delivery. We have been working with ZOLL for over twenty years and they are the leader in cardiac assisted delivery devices, so the PHA should be very proud and the Bahamas should be very proud because they are the only healthcare provider to have these devices.” Trainers from global manufacturer ZOLL Medical Corporation demonstrated the features of the devices to
NEMS managers and staff and provided instruction over two days in preparation for the installation of the new equipment in ambulances.

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