Innovative thinking is a mindset we practice within our organization. We are always looking at implementing new technology within our organization, giving us the tools for improved patient care and outcomes.  Our team recognized an immediate opportunity with a respiratory therapy treatment being utilized for the treatment of patients with respiratory distress in the hospital setting. 

In our experience when a patient has a respiratory issue and transport is required, we utilize a transport ventilator designed for EMS, the AHP 300 transport ventilator is a rugged unit designed for the rigors of transport operations. This ventilator allows for volume and pressure control settings along with non-invasive CPAP and Bi-level pressure capability.

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The unit that is utilized in the hospital setting is called Vapotherm. This High-Velocity Nasal Insufflation (HI-VNI) technology flushes the extrathoracic dead space of expiratory gas between each breath while creating a fresh reservoir of CO2 to drastically preventing fatigue and decelerating respiratory distress exacerbation in the patient, especially in this current pandemic.

When a patient is requiring ambulance transport and is on a Vapotherm therapy device, the transition is a bit challenging because the Vapotherm treatment must stop and have invasive intubation performed and transferred to a ventilator. Delaying the transport to definitive care.  Our initial thought was how can we use a Vapotherm device during our transport to assist with continuity care? 

The answer was NO because these units were only made to be used in a hospital setting.  Our persistence and further clinical conversations quickly sparked interest in a Beta test, resulting in SMH being the first private EMS provider in the country to utilize this HI-VNI technology during transport. This beta testing will be used for the development of a true field unit for the entire EMS industry.  In our discoveries thus far, when a patient being treated with Vapotherm in the ED and transition of care with our teams took only seconds compared to a typical ventilator experience. 

This beta test is going to be monumental to Vapotherma to potentially unlock a new market and provide better patient outcomes across the country. 

SMH is the first independently privately owned EMS provider in the country to utilize the Vapotherm HI-VNI unit in the field.

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