Draeger Pac 7000 Measures Carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) levels in Firefighters

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http://www.draeger.com/ Pittsburgh – Using the Draeger Pac 7000, a portable gas detection instrument, firefighters can now screen and monitor for Carbon Monoxide (CO) exposures and poisoning. Traditionally a problem associated with firefighter exposure to smoke and toxic chemicals, high levels of COHb can lead to permanent brain damage and death. The new NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) policy states that breath analysis may be used for determining the extent of firefighter exposure to CO.

The Draeger Pac 7000 is being used by some of the largest fire departments throughout the USA and Canada to prevent these types of frequent repeated exposures. The Draeger Pac 7000 monitors are smaller than a cell phone and kept either in the fire truck or carried on the firefighter to quickly screen for toxic chemicals in the lungs. The Carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) formed in the blood on exposure to CO can be measured from a victim’s end tidal breath sample. It reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood and impairs the release of oxygen from hemoglobin. The level of carboxyhemolglobin in the blood can be measured directly in percent COHb using a Draeger PAC 7000 unit set in ‘COHb’ mode (via PACVision software).This percent COHb reading can be used to verify whether an individual has been exposed to CO and to screen for the level of exposure. Individuals start to feel the effects of CO exposure at levels as low as 5 percent COHb with impaired cognitive abilities; at levels above 25 percent COHb, severe symptoms such as headaches, nausea and loss of consciousness can occur. Levels above 40 percent COHb can lead to permanent brain damage and death.

Draegerwerk AG & Co. KGaA is an international leader in the fields of medical and safety technology. Draeger products protect, support and save human life. Founded in 1889, in 2007 the Group achieved sales of 1,819.5 million Euro worldwide and an EBIT of 151.9 million Euro. Today, Draeger employs around 10,000 people in more than 70 subsidiaries worldwide and has a representation around 190 countries. The Draeger Safety subsidiary offers products, services and system solutions for all encompassing Risk Management such as Personal- and Facility Protection. For more information, visit www.draeger.com.

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