The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust), in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS), has introduced potentially lifesaving oxygen alert medical bracelets to be worn by patients with known Type 2 Respiratory failure.
It is estimated that two per cent of the population have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and Type Two Respiratory failure can occur in some patients with COPD.
Type 2 Respiratory Failure occurs when the patient’s oxygen level is low and the carbon dioxide level is higher than normal.
The easily recognisable purple oxygen alert bracelets will ensure rapid identification of a patient with Type 2 Respiratory Failure.
This will ensure that ambulance staff transferring a patient to hospital, and doctors are immediately made aware of a patients oxygen therapy needs during an exacerbation of COPD.
Dr Rose Sharkey, Respiratory Consultant, Western Health and Social Care Trust saidyhr Trust been working closely with their colleagues in the Ambulance Service to ensure paramedics firstly check if a patient was wearing one of the purple bracelets.
She added: “If so, they can then check the patient’s oxygen alert card which will tell them the correct amount of oxygen therapy to give a patient during an exacerbation of COPD, as they are transferred to hospital. The delivery of excess oxygen to this group of patients can be detrimental.
“The medical bracelets and oxygen alert cards will be distributed to patients attending respiratory clinics and through our Community Respiratory Services.