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Tri-County Health Care awarded grant

Photo provided Tri-County Health Care EMS staff have been trained to work the Zoll AutoPulse chest compression device. Paramedics Brian Pollock, Julie Jenson and Jacob Jacobson each take their turn practicing with the compression device to become proficient in its use when minutes matter most.

Tri-County Health Care (TCHC) is pleased to announce that the Tri-County Medical Emergency Services (EMS) department has been awarded a $17,815 grant from the CentreCare Health Foundation in St. Cloud. The grant was used to purchase a Zoll AutoPulse chest compression device for use on victims of cardiac arrest.

"An automatic chest compression device is a portable piece of equipment that is strapped onto a patient suffering cardiac arrest," said Allen Smith, TCHC Director of Emergency Services. "The compression device provides consistent, uninterrupted chest compressions."

Manual compressions only provide 10 to 20 percent of normal blood flow to the heart and 30 to 40 percent to the brain. The Zoll compression device provides a better choice for top-quality CPR on the move. "For victims of sudden cardiac arrest, only one thing is certain - chest compressions will be required," said Smith. "For those patients, consistent, continuous chest compressions are critical to survival."

Easy to use and battery operated, the Zoll is a revolutionary non-invasive cardiac arrest pump that moves more blood, more consistently than is possible with human hands. "The Zoll compression device squeezes the entire chest," said Dr. John Pate, EMS medical director.

The increasing rate of cardiac arrest, especially in our older adults, is an area of concern for our Emergency Medical staff. The automatic compression device will free up EMS staff and allow them to provide ALS care including patient monitoring and administering medications, while ensuring continuous CPR without interruptions or delay to pulseless patients. "The chest compression device will enhance the care that patients in our area receive prior to arriving in our critical access hospital and will extend to nearly a dozen communities in our service area." said Smith.

Tri-County Hospital Emergency Medical Services is the largest advanced life support (ALS) provider of 911 services in Wadena and Todd County. Located 85 miles northwest of St. Cloud, the service area encompasses 850 square miles in three counties. Tri-County EMS is the primary ALS intercept service for two smaller basic life support (BLS) services located within the communities they serve. "The goal of our EMS department is to ensure the highest level emergency medical service in an effective, caring and professional matter," said Smith.

This grant was supported by the CentraCare Health Foundation.