RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- The Ridgewood Emergency Services ambulances will now carry advanced continuous positive airway pressure devices, which can help patients with breathing problems.
The breathing device improves vital signs, gas exchange, lessens the work of breathing and decreases the sense of shortness of breath in patients who have pneumonia, asthma and congestive heart failure.
“Ridgewood is one of the few communities in the state of New Jersey that has its EMT’s trained in this advanced medical care as part of the emergency medical services," said Dr. Robert Lahita, medical director for Ridgewood Emergency Services.
Advanced life support paramedics from hospitals previously only could provide this service. The use of these devices, administration of Narcan, a drug that can reverse the effects of an overdose, and the use of LUCAS automatic chest compression devices are among new practices authorized by the New Jersey Department of Heath for agencies under the auspices of a medical director.
“The inclusion of CPAP as an additional service offered by Ridgewood EMTs highlights our effort to provide the highest level of care available to Ridgewood,” said EMS Capt. Murray Yang. “We have also initiated the protocol for the use of aspirin in cardiac emergencies, which was just approved by the State Department of Health for EMT’s to administer.”
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