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New device, medication help Maine paramedics improve baby delivery

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New device, medication help Maine paramedics improve baby delivery


Lt. Stephen Coppi with a device called a KangooFix that he and other Portland firefighters used when they helped deliver a baby recently. The KangooFix attaches the infant to the mother securely so they can be close during the ambulance ride. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

When Lt. Stephen Coppi responds to an emergency call for a mother in labor, nerves are high.

“OB calls strike very personal with a lot of our members because they’re either moms or dads themselves,” said Coppi, a paramedic with the Portland Fire Department. “These calls can go either really awesome, or to the highest extreme intensity of health care for us, because this is a child.”

When he arrives and there are no complications, he said crews want to take their time to “be a part of someone’s family,” letting the father cut the cord and giving the parents time to bond with the baby before they’re ushered off to the hospital in separate ambulances.

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Now, EMS responders in Maine can transport infants strapped to their mothers’ chests with a newly available device. Named KangooFix, it holds the baby in a pouch, strapped to the mother so the mother and child keep that connection on the way to the hospital.

Portland firefighters demonstrated last week how the device works. Paramedics swaddle the baby in a soft shell and secure it to the mother with a five-point harness. Then they secure the harness straps to the straps holding the mother in the stretcher. The outer shell, designed to keep the baby warm and dry, is made of a wet suit material. Some department workers call it a “baby Koozie.”

Lt. Stephen Coppi, right, demonstrates with paramedics Jake Cole, left, and Mike Casey how KangooFix works by attaching the harness to Devin Mill, the department’s principal financial officer. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Dr. Rachel Williams, medical director for Maine’s EMS for Children program, said this is crucial for helping mother and child make an early connection.

“It jump starts a lot of things for the baby when they make that first connection with mom,” Williams said. “If they’re able to continue that during the transport, that’s very beneficial.”

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She said skin-to-skin contact is vital to calm both the mother and baby. It regulates the baby’s heart rate, breathing and temperature, can stimulate digestion and enable bacteria transfer, which protects against infection.

Williams also said these new measures are especially helpful because if the baby is brought to the hospital before the mother in a separate ambulance, staff has no information.

“How far along were they? Was this a complicated pregnancy for any reason? Are there any maternal risk factors we need to know about?” Williams said. “If the mom has not arrived yet because her ambulance is coming second, then we wouldn’t know that.”

OXYTOCIN ALSO AVAILABLE

After a field delivery in 2023 in which the mother and newborn had to be separated, Coppi said he worked with Maine EMS to find a solution. Working with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, they created a grant to make this device available to EMS agencies across the state.

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Another new resource given to EMS providers this year is oxytocin. They’re now able to carry the drug, which helps to minimize the risk of postpartum hemorrhage, a potentially fatal condition.

Portland paramedics now have access to a device called the KangooFix, which attaches an infant to their mother securely so they can be close during their ambulance ride. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Portland EMS Division Chief Sean Donaghue said Maine’s first EMS oxytocin delivery was at an emergency call in March, when the crew delivered a baby on scene and the mother had significant hemorrhage.

“They allowed mom and baby to bond and feed, and they really took their time on scene before we even talked about transporting,” Donaghue said. “And then they transported using (the Kangoo Fix). That was a really, really great call.”

Williams said several hospitals across the state have changed whether they receive pregnant patients, so some people have to go further to find care. These two improvements for emergency deliveries show that prenatal and obstetric care are more “on the radar” for Maine and Maine EMS, she said.

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“I think that we’re doing a good job of addressing the potential complications and trying to minimize complications and improve care for these patients pre-hospital,” Williams said.


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Maine

From sea to sandwich: in search of the best lobster roll ever | CNN

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From sea to sandwich: in search of the best lobster roll ever | CNN


In Portland, Maine lobsters aren’t just a livelihood, they’re a way of life. In his search for the city’s best lobster roll, Derek Van Dam shows us how Portland combines centuries of maritime tradition with creativity to reinvent a Maine classic.

For more, check out America’s Best Town’s to Visit.



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Maine

Rare tornado watch issued Sunday for parts of Maine

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Rare tornado watch issued Sunday for parts of Maine


A rare tornado watch was issued Sunday by the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center, with the highest risk in Oxford County and parts of western Cumberland and York counties.

Unstable weather patterns marked by warm, humid air have created conditions where tornados could touch down throughout much of northern New England, although the risk was about 10%, according to the prediction center. The watch has been issued through 8 p.m. Sunday.

“Tonight’s severe weather is the most hazardous we’ve forecasted this year,” said Jon Palmer, a meteorologist with the NWS office in Gray. “We haven’t seen a setup like this in a while. This is rare for Maine, certainly.”

Parts of Maine already were flooded with heavy rains earlier in the day, but more severe weather was forecasted for the afternoon and early evening hours and storms approached from the west.

A tornado watch only means that weather conditions can produce tornadoes, not that one will occur. If the watch is upgraded to a warning, those in the path are advised to seek shelter in the lowest level of a home, such as a basement.

Damaging wind gusts could persist even without tornadoes, and some areas could see hail. Conditions also could produce torrential rain for brief periods.

Palmer said humidity in the atmosphere, combined with wind shear, is creating powerful conditions. As of 4 p.m., the tornado watch had not been upgraded to a warning in any specific areas of Maine.

More than 6,000 customers in Brunswick and another 1,700 in nearby Harpswell lost power late Sunday morning, according to Central Maine Power, although that wasn’t related to the weather. According to information provided by CMP, that outage was caused when an osprey next came into contact with equipment on a transmission line in Brunswick.

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“Our crews are bringing in specialized equipment to make the necessary repairs, and are working on switching circuits to restore some customers,” CMP said in a statement.

Once the storms move through Maine on Sunday, drier air is expected to settle on Monday.

This story will be updated

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Man Faces 10 Years for Possession and Drug Trafficking in Maine

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Man Faces 10 Years for Possession and Drug Trafficking in Maine


A 42-year-old man faces over 10 years in prison for possession and drug trafficking after police seized a large amount of drugs in Millinocket. He pleaded guilty to the charges Monday.

Man was Passenger in Vehicle

Lenin Nova-Nova from the Dominican Republic was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over for a headlight violation in November 2023. 

Suspect gave Police False Name

Court records said the East Millinocket Police Department “observed an unnatural bulge under Nova-Nova’s clothing. Nova-Nova identified himself using a false name, and a warrant check of that alias revealed an outstanding warrant for arrest.”

Officers found Substances Wrapped in Cellophane

Officers searched Nova-Nova and found $1,305 in cash, four cell phones, and suspected controlled substances wrapped in cellophane.

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Drugs Seized

Police seized 113 grams of 100% pure methamphetamine, approximately 19 grams of a substance containing fentanyl, and 57.8 grams of a substance containing cocaine base.

Identity Confirmed

Nova-Nova’s identity was confirmed by Homeland Security.

Facing $10 Million Fine

In addition to prison, Nova-Nova also faces a fine up to $10 Million and a lifetime of supervised release.

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

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Gallery Credit: Elena Kadvany

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