The New Castle County Paramedics are deploying new cardiac monitors to all
paramedic units through a $1.6 million capital project. The monitor/defibrillator/pacemaker devices
replace older model equipment that was originally purchased in 1998.
“This is probably the piece of equipment that is most frequently used by our paramedics,” said
County Executive Thomas P. Gordon. “Upgrading their medical equipment and giving them the
most modern tools to do their job will allow them to continue to save lives.”
The new devices can simultaneously monitor several vital signs including heart rhythm, heart rate,
blood pressure, oxygen levels and temperature. The device can also be used to deliver an electrical
shock, or defibrillate, as well as electrically pace a patient’s heart. Since 1998, the New Castle
County Paramedics have performed 12-lead electrocardiograms (ECG) to identify patients having
heart attacks and have pre-alerted hospital resources to expedite their care.
“The new cardiac monitors will allow paramedics to evaluate cardiac patients and perform a 12-lead
ECG. The ability of our paramedics to interpret the ECG quickly and accurately has allowed our
hospital systems to activate their cardiac catheterization lab prior to patient arrival”, said Dr. Robert
Rosenbaum, medical director for New Castle County from the state Office of Emergency Medical
Services. “This shortens the time needed to provide treatment and get blood flowing through a
blocked artery in the heart more quickly. The new monitors will improve this process even further.”
Emergency Medical Services Division Chief Lawrence Tan said he was grateful for the support of
the Department of Public Safety by County Executive Gordon and his ongoing commitment that
County personnel had all the tools necessary to do their jobs well.
“The New Castle County Paramedics provide a critical service that can significantly impact the
quality of life of those that become suddenly ill or injured”, Chief Tan said. “The new equipment
will enable us to maintain our commitment to service excellence and allow the paramedics to
continue to deliver high quality patient care.”