Fire Department staff have completed the process of deploying 29 new state-of-the-art automatic defibrillators to the city's trucks and medic units. The new defibrillators already have been used six times for victims of cardiac arrest in recent weeks.
The new equipment is expected to boost Bellevue's cardiac arrest save rate, which at 57 percent is well above the national average, estimated in the 10 percent range.
Bellevue's automatic defibrillators were several years old and nearing the end of their useful life. The new Phillips Heart Start FR-3s are smaller, lighter and have improved software that can be customized by fire department staff as protocols change. The total replacement cost was approximately $115,000.
The FR-3 identifies life threatening rhythms, prepares to shock and delivers the needed energy quicker and more efficiently. It has been redesigned to provide better feedback to firefighters about the rate, depth and quality of CPR being performed.
Other improvements include the ability to defibrillate children with the same pads as adults, and blue tooth capability that allows data to be transferred wirelessly for event review and data collection.
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