North Kitsap Fire receives new heart monitors

North Kitsap Fire and Rescue loads one of the new heart monitors into a medic unit Tuesday.
North Kitsap Fire and Rescue loads one of the new heart monitors into a medic unit Tuesday.

KINGSTON — Harrison Medical Center Foundation publicly launched part of a $1 million project to improve cardiac arrest survival rates in Kitsap County as it delivered to updated heart monitors to North Kitsap Fire and Rescue on Tuesday.

The two monitors, worth about $40,000 each, allow emergency responders to better view heart rates while CPR is in progress, said Steve Engel, with North Kitsap Fire and Rescue.

NKFR_heart-monitorThe monitors also send heart readings directly to Harrison Medical Center to see if patients require surgery for blocked heart arteries.

The hospital began receiving heart readings from emergency responders at a scene in 2014, although not all area fire authorities have monitors capable of sending readings.

South Kitsap and North Mason do not have the technology, according to Kari Driskell with the hospital foundation.

The foundation’s goal is to supply five monitors to South Kitsap and North Mason. A grant for one monitor in South Kitsap has been secured, Driskell said.

The Suquamish Tribe donated the funds needed for North Kitsap’s two monitors, although fundraising continues for a third one in North Kitsap.

Bremerton, Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island already have updated heart monitors.

The foundation’s $1 million project is to supply each of the county’s fire agencies with updated heart monitors and CPR machines, as well as launch a CPR smartphone app.

The app, called PulsePoint, aims to alert those who know CPR when they are in the proximity of someone experiencing cardiac arrest in a public location.

PulsePoint also would notify users where the closest automatic external defibrillator, or AED, is.

The CPR machines provide nearly-perfect CPR at the proper speed and depth — 100 compressions a minute at a depth of 2 inches — and can perform accurate chest compression while a patient is in an ambulance.

NKFR_heart-monitor_group
Officials from North Kitsap Fire, the Suquamish Tribe and the Harrison Medical Center Foundation at the North Kitsap Fire headquarters Tuesday.

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