North Star gets new lifesaving technology

Christine Lerussi, owner of North Star Critical Care, shows off new cardiac monitor-defibrillator units that her company acquired this month. Earlier this year, Philips launched its new emergency care suite that helps care teams spot life-threatening conditions remotely, improving the accuracy of care base on pre-hospital diagnosis. North Star is the first Emergency Medical Technology (EMT) company to acquire the new lifesaving technology. (Photo by Stephanie Ujhelyi)

EAST LIVERPOOL — Employees at a local Emergency Medical Technology (EMT) company recently introduced new lifesaving technology on its vehicles.

According to Christine Lerussi, owner of North Star Critical Care, employees trained on their new cardiac monitor-defibrillator units early in January 2021. “We are super excited about them. Traditionally we transmit via Electrocardiogram (EKG) data through fax, but these new ones allow (hospital emergency rooms or medical staff) to see real time changes on a desktop unit (back at the facility),” she said.

In July, Philips received 501(k) clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for its prehospital wireless monitoring solution to offer its remote monitor and defibrillation solution to EMS customers like North Star Critical Care. The monitor and portable defibrillator can be used separately and also connect wirelessly to share data and transfer vitals, waveforms and images through a desktop unit running Philips web-based software in “realtime.”

“It decreases door-to-balloon time for potential catheter patients,” Lerussi said. “I think it will improve outcomes for cardiac patients.”

She said that each one of North Star’s six ambulances has one of these new units equipped with this Philips IntelliSpace Corsium software. Information also can be saved on a thumb drive and delivered to the hospital with the patient.

A Philips spokesman explained in an article, “In emergency situations, where seconds count, having access to advantage patient data collection and sharing and deal-time secure data streaming, can help inform confident treatment and transport decisions outside the hospital,” he continued. “The integrated remote monitoring and defibrillator solution combined with our web-based software platform will help front line responders provide emergency care, diagnosis and treatment – including defibrillation therapy, data management, and clinical and operational efficiency features – in a fully integrated solution.”

Representatives from Philips, Code Blue and Penn Care recently trained North Star for eight hours at East Liverpool City Hospital.

New Waterford fire recently ordered a unit and will receive training, according to Lerussi. “Right now, we are contacting outlying hospitals (besides East Liverpool, where North Star transports patients) to coordinate access to our program for their patients,” Lerussi added.


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