Tuesday, 15 September 2015

A taste of the world raises much-needed funds

Staff members of Online Republic’s Auckland office put on a multi-national lunch to raise funds for much needed supplies for what we affectionately call “our” ambulance. With staff from around the world including Tahiti, Australia, Poland, and Vietnam generous individuals brought in dishes they had created including Kerala beef fry with rice, chicken skewers, mini quiches, a good old kiwi bacon and egg pie, a range of different salads and sweet treats. Staff then paid for various selections and enjoyed a sumptuous lunch.

Funds raised, including further donations from staff that couldn’t be at the event, totalled $3,400. Then with matching funds by Online Republic, $6,400 was donated to St John enabling them to purchase some much needed equipment  - a BCI Capnocheck and two Entonox Giving Sets.
So what is a BCI Capnocheck11?
Here’s a description by St Johns: Capnographs are battery operated portable handheld devices used for measuring capnography. Still confused? Well this measures etCO2 (entidal carbon dioxide) which is the amount of carbon dioxide expired after every breath/ventilation. An Intensive Care Paramedic is unable to intubate a patient (put in a breathing tube) without the assistance of one of these measuring devices as it is used to confirm tube placement and ventilation rate. If we hyper or hypo ventilate a patient, this can be very detrimental to a patient’s wellbeing. The Capnographs have a monitoring capability suitable for all patients ranging from paediatrics to adults.

A MRX lifepac has one of these devices built in to it but at a cost of $39,000 per unit. St Johns can’t afford to have one of these in every vehicle. Therefore, there is a critical need for these portable devices.

The Capnographs are primarily used in cardiac arrest emergencies. In the past 12 months, St John Northern Region has attended a total of 5,918 cardiac emergencies whereby 4,861 in the Auckland district, 771 in the Northland district and 286 in the Hauraki/Coromandel district. We are in desperate need of a unit.

OK then what is an Entonox Giving Set?
Entonox is a very common pain relief gas used in the pre hospital setting. It is a mixture of Oxygen and Nitrous oxide in a high-pressure cylinder. The nitrous oxide causes analgesia (pain relief) via effects on the central nervous system and is very quick acting. This unit consists of a regulator and delivery tube and mask for administration. This transfers the gas from the high-pressure cylinder to a usable flow that the patient can then breathe in. The gas is suitable for all ages from children to the elderly and can be used during childbirth.

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