News July 31, 2015

Upgrade for Wyoming’s Response to Cardiac Emergencies

by Jackson Hole. Media

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The Wyoming Department of Health’s Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) is leading a statewide effort to enhance and modernize Wyoming’s ability to respond to cardiac emergencies.

The Wyoming Compression Devices and Evaluation (WYCODE) project will ensure automated chest compression devices are available for every ambulance service, hospital emergency room and cardiac catheterization lab across the state.

Wyoming OEMS will coordinate WYCODE. Funding is being provided by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust through a $1.7 million grant. The grant covers the purchase of numerous LUCAS™2 System devices and free training.

“When cardiac arrest occurs, the heart stops abruptly, the victim collapses and quickly loses consciousness,” said Andy Gienapp, OEMS manager with the Wyoming Department of Health. “If a normal heart rhythm is not restored within minutes, the person usually dies.”

Gienapp said automated chest compression devices can more effectively and consistently deliver chest compressions. “Steady, consistent compression are critically important when it comes to increasing a patient’s chance of survival. It’s hard for emergency responders to manage this in the same way as these devices, especially in moving vehicles,” he explained. “The hands-free help these devices offer allows responders to focus on other aspects of patient care and transport.”

“Helping ensure this kind of life-saving technology is widely available is especially important in a state such as Wyoming where we can have so many miles between towns and a limited number of large hospitals,” Gienapp said.

WYCODE will kick off with a series of trainings conducted across Wyoming during August and September. For more information about the trainings and WYCODE, please visit online.

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