Monthly Archives: March 2007

What’s Made the Biggest Diffrence in Patient Care in the last 3 years?

Over the past three years what procedure or medication has made the most difference in the way we practice care in the prehospital setting?

CPAP

Advances in caring for the patient who is in Congestive Heart Failure.

Prior to the availability of portable continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices, patients were treated for acute respiratory distress with intubation, medications and extended intensive care stays. The addition of portable CPAP systems has cut the need for advanced airway care by as much as 50%. Reduced hospital stay and limited exposure to possible hospital acquired infections.

A recent study (Hubble, et.al) showed that the number needed to treat to prevent possible death was 6. For every 6 patients treated with CPAP the community avoids one bad outcome (death or disability).

According to the American Heart Association, people 40 and older have a 1 in 5 chance of developing CHF in their lifetime. Nearly 5 million people in the United States—mostly older adults—already have CHF, and the number of people with CHF keeps rising. About 550,000 people develop CHF each year.

Changes in protocols to include the early use of CPAP have led to better patient outcomes and reduced hospital costs. A win-win for both the patient and the community.