ALTON, IL – Emergency Medical Service personnel from Alton Memorial Hospital are able to give patients a bit more breathing room with the hospital’s purchase of seven new Glidescopes. The equipment is designed to improve airways for patients while in the ambulance, saving valuable time and maybe some lives.

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“Video-assisted laryngoscopes will provide Alton Memorial’s fleet of ambulances with a valuable tool to help establish secure airways in critically ill or critically injured patients prior to transport,” said Dr. Angela Holbrook, medical director of the Emergency Department at AMH. “This amazing technology will improve the care, and likely the survival, of these patients. We are very happy to be able to provide it for our patients.”

Laryngoscopes are used to intubate patients when they are not breathing, with a small camera attached to the tube allowing the paramedic an easier view down the patient’s throat. Cases may be from cardiac arrest, respiratory failure, allergic reactions, or if a patient needs to be chemically sedated to maintain his or her airway.

Alton Memorial is the only ambulance service in the area with the equipment.

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“These new Glidescopes with be added to current intubation equipment on the ambulances to support the paramedics in the intubation process,” said Jason Bowman, EMS manager at Alton Memorial. “For many reasons, paramedics often experience difficult intubations. So by being able to see the patient’s anatomy from the view of a camera compared to the naked eye will ensure proper tube placement, visualize any trauma, or see an airway obstruction.

“The paramedics are seeing an increased volume of patients that need to be intubated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, these new Glidescopes let the paramedic have distance between them and the patient, reducing the possibility of exposures to airborne or bodily fluids.”

The equipment comes with a fully submersible video monitor and battery to simplify cleaning. They are reliable in wet conditions and deliver a minimum of 100 minutes of continuous use on a full charge.

The purchase of the Glidescopes was made possible through a $25,000 donation from Phillips 66 near the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Giving back to our community where we operate has always been a priority, but now more than ever we need to make sure we support our health care and emergency responders on the frontlines as well as our families throughout the region,” said Melissa Erker, director of Government and Community Affairs for the Wood River Refinery.

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