Star City VFD gets advanced device to help EMS team on calls

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (WDTV)-- With the help of a new device the Star City EMS team can administer a Rapid Sequence Intubation (RSI) on a patient in about 5 minutes. Helping with any respiratory failure.

"A patient that still could be alert and oriented and looking around could still not be able to protect their own airway. We have the ability to protect that airway for them," said John Hitchens, the EMS Administrator at the Star City VFD.

The old device still provides the same help, but requires more force moving the tongue to open space for the tube to slide in.

The new device has a camera, helping guide paramedics through an easier and faster process.

"Having this device available would work perfectly for those instances when we wouldn't be able to establish an airway. This would almost give you an 100% success rate," said Hitchens.

Patients, in need, will receive proper medication prior to being intubated.

"We give them a sedative and then a short-term paralytic. That allows all of the reflexes in the muscles to relax so that we can insert the airway without any sort of trauma," said Hitchens.

The device, however, isn't only for RSI use.

"If a patient is larger and in cardiac arrest, those are usually difficult airways to establish, so this would allow us to facilitate that much easier," said Hitchens.

Hitchens says they're the only EMS in Mon County with the GlideScope Go. The Bridgeport Fire Department has it as well.

He says, they realized there's a need for it in the community and that's a reason they were able to get the grant money.

"Throughout the county, we've identified several instances in which this would have been a beneficial procedure," said Hitchens. "If we utilize it one time, in the next year, then it's been worth it for us."

To administer the device on a patient, paramedics have to have specific qualifications and training.

The department says they're ready now to use the device when needed.