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New Hi-Tech Ambulances for New South Wales

Patients will benefit from a state-wide rollout of world-class technology and equipment in NSW ambulances worth more than AU$ 55 million which will help paramedics and specialist clinicians provide even faster, better cardiac care. Through the package, ambulances will be equipped with an additional 550 mechanical cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) Lucas devices, 1,400 state-of-the-art ECG/defibrillation devices, and a new cardiac notification platform that will improve communication between NSW Ambulance and emergency departments.

The state Premier said this nation-leading investment will help save lives and provide better care for people right across the State. He noted that the Government is working to strengthen frontline services and deliver better services for people across the State.

The move is part of the government’s record investment in the health system to ensure that all NSW inhabitants, regardless of their area of residence, have access to the best healthcare possible to provide people with world-class healthcare and save lives. The NSW Health Minister said the rollout would give frontline healthcare staff the best tools and most up-to-date technology available to help them carry out their vital role of saving lives.

NSW Ambulance will be the first ambulance service in Australia to have mechanical CPR Lucas devices in every frontline ambulance, ensuring patients can receive life-saving chest compressions throughout their journey to hospital, the Health Minister said.

Timing is paramount when dealing with cardiac arrests. These devices give patients the best possible chance of staying alive, by supporting the region’s highly trained paramedics to provide the best life-saving care from the minute they arrive at the patient’s side through to when they reach the hospital, he added.

Approximately 20,000 Australians, including 8,000 people in NSW, suffer cardiac arrest out of hospitals every year. This makes it the most common cause of death among adults. Just one in 10 will survive.

The NSW Ambulance Chief Executive said NSW Ambulance had worked with practising clinicians to develop the cardiac care package to ensure it provided the most effective tools for responding to patients suffering cardiac arrest. He noted that the Lucas CPR devices are a game changer as effective chest compressions are very hard to maintain for long periods, or when a patient is being moved down a flight of stairs to the ambulance, for example. These devices will provide ongoing compressions in these challenging situations.

Patients will also benefit from the new Corpuls 3T 12-lead ECG/defibrillators which weigh considerably less than previous defibrillators, making them safer and easier for paramedics to use. These defibrillators perform non-invasive blood pressure monitoring, capnography, pulse oximetry, temperature recording and pacing.

In addition, the new cardiac notification platform would help streamline the transfer of patients from the ambulances into hospitals by improving communication between emergency departments and clinicians.

The cardiac notification platform aids the transfer of clinical observation data from ambulances and regional hospitals to tertiary hospitals so we can provide more rapid and effective treatment to patients with suspected heart attacks. In addition to the more than AU$ 55 million cardiac care package for NSW Ambulance, the NSW Government has invested AU$ 150 million over 10 years (2018-2028) in cardiovascular research in NSW.

In related news, NSW RFS announced that it is partnering with a mining company in a first-of-its-kind road-crash emergency rescue trial. The RFS noted that decreasing volunteer rates and low populations mean that many areas of the region have gone without sufficient staff to respond to road crashes within the critical first 60 minutes after a serious road incident. However, now eight members of Aurelia Metals’ Hera Mine emergency response team (ERT) are now qualified to attend road crashes.

Overall, NSW aims to boost its emergency response time and enable its paramedics and first responders to attend to crises rapidly and with the best equipment and training available.

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