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View Full Version : portable De-fib in the 70's


John ED Renstrom
04-11-2009, 01:04 PM
here is a unit I picked up in a gurney swap with Jimmy V, Jim of course coned Bruce B out of it so he could complete the trade. but such is how we get out stuff. it's a De fib unit . the last service check noted on the battery is 2/12/1970. the unit is bigger then a brief case and sports a regular TV screen along with the paddles. tops the scales at a 33 lb. manufactured by S&W Medico Teknik of Denmark. sold under the Fairfield DMS 600 international name. were this piece of equipment is is now standard on a ambulance to find it in one in the 70's would be vary unusual. only the most advanced service with some deep pockets would have people trained to use it and could spend the funds for one. it is a fun piece of equipment to bring into a CPR class today. the units today they use for for lay people go about 2 lb and the size of a couple big books. even the lifepak 5 is about 1/2 this size and 1/4 the waight.

Steve Lichtman
04-11-2009, 04:37 PM
Great stuff. A competitor to this, the original LifePak portable monitor/defibrillator was called the LifePak 33. It was called that because it was lightweight, and only weighed 33 pounds!

By the way, the very first LifePak 33 is in the collection of the National EMS Museum Foundation (which got it from the "To the Rescue" museum when that closed), it has serial number 0001.

Brendan Martin
04-11-2009, 08:24 PM
Ooh my god and I complain about dragging the the Zoll E-Series into peoples homes. (About half the size and height)

Scott Crittenden
04-11-2009, 09:25 PM
Ooh my god and I complain about dragging the the Zoll E-Series into peoples homes. (About half the size and height)

I didn't care for the handle on the Zoll either. My service uses LP12's but we "test drove" Zoll and Phillips recently. I wish I could have combined features/qualities from all 3. Haven't seen an LP15 in person yet.

Dean Wilkinson
04-12-2009, 06:55 AM
Scott,

Have seen the LP 15, but had to sign in blood (Last May) to see it. I think you will be impressed. Ours (45) are ordered and just waiting on Health Canada approval.

Jean-Marc Dugas
04-12-2009, 06:58 PM
In New Brunswick we use the Philips MRx with Q-CPR. Very powerful unit with real time feedback provided to Paramedics during CPR. The Q-CPR is allowing us to gather an incredable amount of information from each cardiac event. A committee was put together where the Zoll, LP & MRx were looked at and at the end, the MRx was the winner.

Tom D. Barlett
03-20-2011, 09:58 PM
If you think the LifePak 33 and MRL monitor defibrilators were heavy, imagine carrying a Zenith/Travenol "Monopulse 801" that weighed around 56 lbs. This unit was manufactured by Zenith and marketed through Travenol. It was a first generation battery powered defibrillator only and did not have an EKG scope. A few of these units had appeared on ambulances in the late 60's. Zenth had introduced this unit just prior to Physio-Control introducing the LifeLifePak 33 at the '68 American Heart Association convention in Miami. In fact, I have an old Miami Fire Department Rescue photo which shows both the LifePak 33 and the Travenol. There were not many of these Zenith units produced in that era as I understand it. Apparently, the LifePak 33 rapidly captured the limited market that was around at that time due to the small number of evolving paramedic programs in the late 60's. Another heavy monitor/defibrillator was the "Orance Lifesaver" TeleCare IV which was heavy to tote up stairs to say the least. The TeleCare featured a monitor/defibrillator as well as the first digital B/P readout unit which was integrated into the unit. Then you had an option of having an EKG paper printout and an embedded General Electric radio with headset and boom mike. As most of you know, defibrillators remained bulky and somewhat heavy throughout the early 70's. That is until the LifePak 5 came out and was greatly acclaimed by EMS professionals due to all of its features in one slender "break apart" package. Such were the days.

Scott A. Anderson
03-21-2011, 09:55 AM
Our first defibs were the Mennan Greatbach units. They had case dimensions that allowed them to sit on the area over the rear wheel well on the outer wall next to the cot. The scope faced forward, so the attendant sitting at the head of the patient could read the scope. The paddles were the potato masher style and in a compartment under the scope. The strip recorder was at the back of the unit. We had the Motorola COR telemetry system that used a modified HT 220 to transmit to a repeater in the ambulance. When we were in the ambulance, you could plug directly into the repeater but it was usually easier to just leave it on the HT with repeater.

Can't remember the weight but it was probably in the 25-30 pound range. We used to pile the defib, the Plano 747 box, and oxygen unit onto the cot and drag everything to the patient. Saw a Mennan Greatbach come off the cot and bounce down the stairs one time when someone did not belt it on to the cot.

We always hoped there were a bunch of first responders to help tote all the equipment back and forth.

Somewhere in this time period, we switched from the COR repeater system to the APCOR radios. This eliminated the clumsey repeater system and enabled two-way voice communication with the hospital. It also added another anchor to the collection of equipment that we had to drag in with us.

We had these for several years until the Lifepak 5's came around. Not too long after the intro of the Lifepak 5, we evolved to the point that they no longer required telemetry.

The attached photo shows the Mennan Greatbach defib in a Superior 61 wide body Chev. van with the Motorola COR HT in a charger and the control head for the COR repeater under the cabinet. Note the glass bottles for the IV's! And yes, the ambulance was rather dirty and cluttered. This defib and telemety combination is what we used in Cadillacs prior to the change to the wide body vans.

Richard Vyse
03-21-2011, 10:52 AM
I want one of these.....:smiley3:

Russell Dalziel
03-21-2011, 12:49 PM
I want one of these.....:smiley3:

Chest Pain?????? LOL



Russ

Richard Vyse
03-21-2011, 08:17 PM
Chest Pain?????? LOL



Russ

Nah, with you it's a bit lower.:thumb:

Scott Crittenden
03-21-2011, 08:25 PM
I didn't care for the handle on the Zoll either. My service uses LP12's but we "test drove" Zoll and Phillips recently. I wish I could have combined features/qualities from all 3. Haven't seen an LP15 in person yet.

Well since this thread has been "revived" my service has been running with the LP15 for around a year now.

Rick Duffy
03-22-2011, 10:08 AM
I've used a lot of heart monitor/ defibrillators in my nearly 40 year career.

Back in the 70's we carried a LifePak-4 (HUGE AND HEAVY) onboard the 71' Superior 54" at Wilkins-Churchill Rescue One (my first all volunteer squad) I'd love to know where that car is today!

When we moved to van style units in the mid 70's, evreyone was going with what the City of Pittsburgh EMS specified... that being the LifePak-5. The monitor separated from the defibrillator and was a good transport unit.

When I began Foxwall EMS (all volunteer) in 1978, I went outside the box and ordered a DataScope MD-3 (This was the best unit on the market at the time for what we needed.) It was actually a great device!

When we got our second unit, my medics requested a LifePak-5, cause most of them were using LP-5's in other services where they worked full-time.

Given the great customer service we had with Physio-Control, our next purchase was the LifePak-10 an then a LP-11 (although we waited nearly 8 months, as the FDA pulled the 11 from the market for a while)

At some point in the early 2000's we began looking at vendors again and price was a HUGE element. Medtronic/ Physio-Control had a great offering in the LifePak-12, but they were WAAAAAY too much money and would not budge on price. The Zoll E-Series Biphasic was presented to us and I liked the unit very much. Zoll let us test drive one for several weeks and my guys liked it very much too. The deal sealer, was when the President and CEO of Zoll (Richard Packer) came to my station one afternoon in May 2001, with the sales rep. and asked what he could do to earn or business. I told him to "make me an offer I can't refuse!" He did, and the rest is history. We bought 2 units right there and then with all the features available. Zoll took all of our Medtronic stuff replacing it with Zoll and even threw in a non-biphasic monitor/defibrillator for the Chief's car!

Last fall we took LifePak 15, Phillips and Zoll M-Series for test drives again. Most of our medics liked the LifePak-15 and a few liked the Zoll. Aagain, it came down to money. 2 LifePak 15's with all the features were pricing out at $66K, but they would give us up to $8000 each for our Zoll E-Series, making the deal about $50K

Zoll again stepped-up and we purchased 2 M-Series units/ with everything for $38K. We still have the E-Series, which work just fine!

Ask me how I LOVE our Zoll M-Series units!

Scott A. Anderson
03-22-2011, 10:51 AM
Here's a Motorola marketing brochure on the COR radio system featuring North Ambulance in Minneapolis. This system was originally in their last Cadillacs. The interior shot in the brochure is a Road Rescue Type I. The radio system was later moved to the Superior 61 wide body vans as shown in my earlier post.

Sorry, but you may need to turn it one time counterclockwise to view.

Jeremy D. Ledford
03-22-2011, 03:20 PM
When I began Foxwall EMS (all volunteer) in 1978, I went outside the box and ordered a DataScope MD-3 (This was the best unit on the market at the time for what we needed.) It was actually a great device!

Got one of these that I picked up at our local county surplus auction a few years back that I display in my 73 M-M combo.

Steve Lichtman
03-24-2011, 10:44 PM
Here's my Mennen Greatbatch. I love the "potato masher" paddles (I've never heard them called that, but it fits).

I never used one. When I started, we were already using LP-5's. But they were very popular around here.

I found this in the closet of a firehouse where I was working in 2000. I asked if I could buy it. They arranged for it to be sold at a sealed bid auction, with me being the only bidder. I won't say how much I bought it for, but my dinner this evening was more expensive than the monitor.

No, it doesn't work. I have a couple of LP-5's, and some of them do, though!

Brendan Martin
03-25-2011, 11:06 AM
I have a LifePak 5, which was free, probably not period correct for my car, but it was the first defib I used in the field 18 years ago. We now use the Zoll E-Series at both my jobs and they work just fine.

Jeremy D. Ledford
03-25-2011, 12:05 PM
Here's a photo of my DataScope MD-3 displayed in my 73 M-M combo. Bought it in a pile of other stuff in a county surplus auction and like Steve, I probably spent more for lunch that day at the concessions trailer at the auction than I actually payed for the DataScope itself! When the day comes when a hightop ambo comes my way it will get moved to it for display as it would be more fitted to be in a hightop.

Steve Tarbert
05-05-2011, 03:28 PM
Our first portable defibs were the MRL AmbPaks. They were a beast to carry, at least the cardiac monitor could be taken out and laid on the cot with the patient. We thought we had went to heaven when the MRL SL450 (?) was introduced and were about half the size and weight as the AmbPak.

Steve Loftin
05-07-2011, 01:55 PM
Let's not forget lugging around a Thumper as well as the LP4, not to mention the 747, portable 02, Ambu-Bag, and the #30! This was with a two-man crew and way before FDs started automatic first response on medical emergencies.

Steve Loftin
05-08-2011, 01:33 PM
Let's not forget lugging around a Thumper as well as the LP4, not to mention the 747, portable 02, Ambu-Bag, and the #30!

There was also the joy of carrying a Motorola Pageboy II pager (voice pages, no less), which was metal and only slightly smaller that a pack of cigarettes. Combine that with a Motorola HT-220 portable radio, either in a holster or in a back pocket, and you'd better make sure your belt was pulled tight!

Bill Anderson
10-30-2011, 12:34 AM
Don't forget that pouch that some people put more stuff in than a telephone repairman.